Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Impulsivity in first grade predicts problem gambling in late teen years for urban boys

Date:
November 20, 2012
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
A developmental pattern of impulsiveness in young males is linked with gambling problems in late adolescence. Respondents considered to be in the high impulsivity track as early as first grade doubled the odds of meeting criteria for at-risk/problem gambling, and tripled the odds of meeting criteria for problem gambling. The study is the first to link a developmental pattern of impulsivity and late-adolescent gambling.

Results of a new study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health indicate that a developmental pattern of impulsiveness in young males is linked with gambling problems in late adolescence. Respondents considered to be in the high impulsivity track as early as first grade doubled the odds of meeting criteria for at-risk/problem gambling, and tripled the odds of meeting criteria for problem gambling. The study is the first to link a developmental pattern of impulsivity -- defined as a tendency to make rush decisions without carefully considering potential negative consequences -- and late-adolescent gambling.

Related Articles


Findings appear online in the journal Addiction.

The researchers studied 310 predominately African American (87%) and low socioeconomic (70%) males from first grade to late adolescence in an urban community in Baltimore, Maryland. Ratings of classroom behavior were based on a Teacher Report of Classroom Behavior Checklist and included items such as waits for turn, interrupts, and blurts out answers. Annual assessments were made from ages 11 through 15. Students fell into two distinct trajectories: 41% of the sample had a high impulse trajectory and 59% a lower impulse trajectory. While impulsivity tended to decline as the boys matured, those with high level of impulsivity in first grade were far more likely to remain among the 41% at adolescence.

Gambling behavior was assessed through interviews with students at ages 17, 19, and 20. Self- reported gambling behavior was assessed using the South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised for Adolescents. The investigators found that boys in the high impulse trajectory group were twice as likely to meet the criteria for "at-risk" gambling behavior and three times the risk for the risk for problem gambling.

Over all, two-thirds of the boys in the study (67%) reported they engaged in some gambling, 20% met criteria for at-risk gambling, and 9% met the criteria as problem gamblers.

"Our findings reveal that there is a considerable link between youth impulsivity in the younger years and gambling issues as older teens," says Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. "This has important implications and provides clear research support for targeting impulsivity to prevent youth problem gambling."

While other research has shown a connection between impulsiveness and gambling, those studies measured impulsivity at a single point-in-time and gambling either concurrently or at a later point-in-time, rather than linking gambling in the late teens to traits of impulsiveness as early as first grade. The earlier studies also based their findings on a predominantly white population sample. What further sets the current research apart is that it specifically considers socioeconomic status of urban minority youth, a population that is disproportionately more likely to exhibit both impulsivity and problem gambling. "We see this as a study strength, given the small amount of research there is on the impulsivity-gambling association among urban minority populations. However, generalizations to the larger population should be made with caution," warns Dr. Martins, principal investigator on the research.

"We also chose to base our study on males only because females tend to exhibit lower levels of impulsivity and show different patterns of development compared to males," observed Dr. Martins.

Noteworthy, too, is the fact that the Columbia researchers used teacher-reported assessments rather than participants' self-reported measures of impulsivity as was the case in earlier works. "Teacher ratings of youth impulsivity tend to be more consistent and reliable for predicting future psychiatric disorder diagnoses compared to adolescent self-reports," says Dr. Martins.

"From our findings we see that teaching impulse control early in elementary school may have a long term benefit in decreasing the likelihood of youth following an elevated trajectory of impulsivity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Weiwei Liu, Grace P. Lee, Asha Goldweber, Hanno Petras, Carla L. Storr, Nicholas S. Ialongo, Silvia S. Martins. Impulsivity Trajectories and Gambling in Adolescence among Urban Male Youth. Addiction, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/add.12049

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Impulsivity in first grade predicts problem gambling in late teen years for urban boys." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120132859.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2012, November 20). Impulsivity in first grade predicts problem gambling in late teen years for urban boys. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120132859.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Impulsivity in first grade predicts problem gambling in late teen years for urban boys." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120132859.htm (accessed January 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins