Gambling in young adults aged 17-24 years: a population-based study

Hollén, L., Dörner, R., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524 and Emond, A., 2020. Gambling in young adults aged 17-24 years: a population-based study. Journal of Gambling Studies, 36, pp. 747-766. ISSN 1050-5350

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A large contemporary UK cohort study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, was used to investigate gambling behavior and to explore the antecedents of regular gambling in the 17–24-year age group. Participants completed computer-administered gambling surveys in research clinics, on paper, and online. The sample sizes were 3566 at age 17 years, 3940 at 20 years, and 3841 at 24 years; only 1672 completed all three surveys. Participation in gambling in the last year was reported by 54% of 17-year-olds, rising to 68% at 20 years, and 66% at 24 years, with little overall variance. Regular (weekly) gambling showed a strong gender effect, increasing among young men from 13% at 17 years to 18% at 20 years, and 17% at 24 years. Although gambling frequency increased between the ages of 17 and 20 years, gambling behaviors showed little variance between 20 and 24 years, except online gambling and betting on horseraces. The commonest forms of gambling were playing scratchcards, playing the lottery, and private betting with friends. Gambling on activities via the internet increased markedly between 17 and 24 years, especially among males. In the fully adjusted model, individual antecedents of regular gambling were being male, and having a low IQ, an external locus of control, and high sensation seeking scores. Parental gambling behavior and maternal educational background were associated with regular gambling in both sexes. Regular gambling was associated with smoking cigarettes and frequent and harmful use of alcohol, but no associations with depression were found.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Gambling Studies
Creators: Hollén, L., Dörner, R., Griffiths, M.D. and Emond, A.
Publisher: Springer
Date: September 2020
Volume: 36
ISSN: 1050-5350
Rights: © the author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 21 Apr 2020 15:09
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2020 14:39

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