Youth Gambling in Context: The structure of young people's leisure and their gambling behaviour.

Moore, Susan and Ohtsuka, Keis (2000) Youth Gambling in Context: The structure of young people's leisure and their gambling behaviour. Behavioural Change, 17. pp. 167-177. ISSN 0813-4839


Free time constitutes up to 50 percent of an adolescent's day and that young people have more leisure time than adults. Leisure may lead to boredom, a risk factor for problem gambling. Three different models of time usage were compared as potential predictors of gambling behaviour and problem gambling among 769 adolescents (15- to 18-years old) from five secondary schools in Melbourne. More leisure time predicted more frequent gambling behaviour for girls and boys, as did a greater amount of unstructured leisure time. Specific activity factors provided the best time usage-based prediction of gambling behaviour (accounting for approximately 20 percent of the variance for boys and 18 percent for girls). More time socialising and being involved in organised sport predicted more gambling for boys, probably because of the access these activities provide to gambling venues. For boys, low levels of the so-called masculine pursuits (activities with other male peers) were associated with problem gambling, as were 'cognitive pursuits' such as board games and collecting hobbies. For girls, more time in studious activity such as reading mitigated against gambling frequency. Low levels of typically 'feminine' adolescent pursuits predicted problem gambling. By far the major predictor of problem gambling however was gambling behaviour per se. The role of leisure in problem gambling was discussed in terms of the simultaneously protective and risk role by peer socialising, which may increase both access to gambling and a sense of connectedness to the peer group.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords leisure time allocation, youth gambling, predictors of problem gambling
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