Adolescent Alcohol-Drinking Frequency and Problem-Gambling Severity: Adolescent Perceptions Regarding Problem-Gambling Prevention and Parental/Adult Behaviors and Attitudes
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BACKGROUND: The study examined in adolescents how alcohol-drinking frequency relates to gambling-related attitudes and behaviors and perceptions of both problem-gambling prevention strategies and adult (including parental) behaviors/attitudes. METHODS: A survey assessing alcohol, gambling, and health and functioning measures in 1609 high school students. Students were stratified into low-frequency/nondrinking and high-frequency-drinking groups, and into low-risk and at-risk/problematic gambling groups. RESULTS: High-frequency drinking was associated with at-risk/problematic gambling (χ(2)(1,N = 1842) = 49.22, P < .0001). High-frequency-drinking versus low-frequency/nondrinking adolescents exhibited more permissive attitudes towards gambling (e.g., less likely to report multiple problem-gambling prevention efforts to be important). At-risk problematic gamblers exhibited more severe drinking patterns and greater likelihood of acknowledging parental approval of drinking (χ(2)(1, N = 1842) = 31.58, P < .0001). Problem-gambling severity was more strongly related to gambling with adults among high-frequency-drinking adolescents (odds ratio [OR] = 3.17, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = [1.97, 5.09]) versus low-frequency/nondrinking (OR = 1.86, 95% CI = [0.61, 2.68]) adolescents (interaction OR = 1.78, 95% CI = [1.05, 3.02]). CONCLUSIONS: Interrelationships between problematic drinking and gambling in youth may relate to more permissive attitudes across these domains. Stronger links between at-risk/problem gambling and gambling with adults in the high-frequency-drinking group raises the possibility that interventions targeting adults may help mitigate youth gambling and drinking.
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