Youth Self-Assessment

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Do you gamble responsibly? Do you think you are too young to have a gambling problem? Many teens are able to gamble responsibly, but there are some who cannot. Researchers say 10% – 15% of young people have significant gambling problems.

If you think gambling is becoming a problem, you are not alone. Youth problem gamblers are increasing due to the popularity of poker and presence of online gambling, which is easy to access, no matter how old you are; gambling is also seen as being “cool” and is an activity that many of your friends may be participating in. If you are under the age of 19, please answer the following questions to find out if you are gambling responsibly.

  • 1. Do your friends gamble a lot?
    YesNo
  • 2. Have you ever gambled at school?
    YesNo
  • 3. Have you ever stayed away from school or work to gamble?
    YesNo
  • 4. Is gambling more important than school or work?
    Yes No
  • 5. Do you often spend your free time involved in gambling activities such as poker or sports betting?
    Yes No
  • 6. Do you find gambling to be the most exciting activity you do?
    Yes No
  • 7. When you are gambling, do you tend to lose track of the time and forget about everything else?
    Yes No
  • 8. Do you often daydream about gambling?
    Yes No
  • 9. Do you feel your friends are envious of you when you win money at gambling, and that you get extra attention because of gambling?
    Yes No
  • 10. When you win, do you want to gamble more because you believe that you will continue the winning streak?
    Yes No
  • 11. When you lose, do you feel you must bet as soon as possible to win back your losses?
    Yes No
  • 12. Do you often gamble with money you originally intended to use for other things…like lunch money, gas money, clothing money, money for CDs, MP3s, etc.?
    Yes No
  • 13. Do you ever “borrow” money from parents or friends to gamble?
    Yes No
  • 14. Have you ever sold a favorite possession or something very special to you to get money to gamble or pay a gambling debt?
    Yes No
  • 15. Do you try to prevent your family and friends from knowing how much and how often you gamble?
    Yes No
  • 16. Do you ever lie about your gambling? For example, do you ever tell people that you did not gamble or that you won money gambling when in fact you had lost money or possessions?
    Yes No
  • 17. Do you get into arguments with your parents because of gambling or with your friends over a gambling activity?
    Yes No
  • 18. Do you feel depressed or lose sleep or feel guilty because you lost money gambling?
    Yes No
  • 19. Have you ever thought of suicide as a way of solving your problems?
    Yes No
  • 20. Does one or both of your parents do a lot of gambling?
    Yes No

It is usually best to talk with your parents, grandparents, teacher or other guardian, but we know it can seem like a difficult thing to do. If you need some help before you talk with them, please call 1-800-426-2537 to receive free, confidential, 24/7 counseling assistance regarding your gambling behavior. No phone charges will apply. Help is available for all ages along with assistance in Spanish if needed.

Test prepared by Durand F. Jacobs, Ph.D., Redlands, California Content courtesy of the California Council on Problem Gambling

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