Risk Factors

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Risk Factors of Youth Gambling:
Risk factors are reasons, events or traits that increase the risk of young adults engaging in problem behaviors, including problem gambling. There are many reasons why youth develop problem gambling behaviors, and we do not know them all. But we do know some! The following are some of the most common risk factors (Derevensky & Gupta, 2000):

  • History of gambling in the family – children of parents who gamble are nearly twice as likely to be weekly or daily gamblers (Carlson & Moore, 1998)
  • Family history of alcoholism
  • Exposure to gambling at young age
  • Family that overemphasizes money or competition
  • Having a “big win”
  • Low self-esteem
  • ADD or Hyperactivity/ADHD
  • Other addictions or behavioral issues
  • Problems at home
  • Peer pressure
  • Loneliness, depression or boredom
  • Escape from reality
  • Coping mechanism
  • To gain attention from peers
  • To win money (however, for adolescents with gambling problems, money is the vehicle, not the main reason, for gambling).1

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