Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parental monitoring lowers odds of gambling problem

Date:
November 12, 2013
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Keeping an eye on your child can lower their odds for gambling by young adulthood. Adolescents who had poor parental supervision at age 11, and which continued to decline through age 14, were significantly more likely than their peers to be problem gamblers between ages 16-22. This is the first study to examine the relationship between parental monitoring during early adolescence and gambling behaviors in late adolescence and young adulthood.

Keeping an eye on your child can lower their odds for gambling by young adulthood, according to research conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Adolescents who had poor parental supervision at age 11, and which continued to decline through age 14, were significantly more likely than their peers to be problem gamblers between ages 16-22.

The study, "Parental Monitoring Trajectories and Gambling," is the first to examine the relationship between parental monitoring during early adolescence and gambling behaviors in late adolescence and young adulthood. Results are online in the journal Addiction.

The Columbia researchers and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health followed 514 Baltimore youth surveyed on parental monitoring and gambling. Two distinct patterns emerged: 85% were in a "Stable group" that reported consistently high levels of parental monitoring; the remaining 15% were in a "Declining group" that reported slightly lower levels of parental monitoring at age 11 with declining rates to age 14.

While the Stable group reported significantly higher levels of monitoring at each time point, the differences between the two groups were modest, yet statistically significant; both the Stable and Declining groups were fairly well monitored during early adolescence. The Stable class was monitored approximately all of the time, and the Declining class was monitored most of the time. "The finding that such a small difference in parental monitoring is associated with a significantly increased risk for problem gambling could be due to the current sample of predominantly African American youth from urban, low SES environments in which parents tend to be more aware of the potential detrimental impact their environment has on their children and, thus, try to closely monitor the youth," said Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health associate professor of Epidemiology, senior and corresponding author.

"As children grow older, it is normal for them to spend more time outside them home with friends, and for parents to give them the freedom to do so. But parents should be careful to stay engaged and be vigilant," said Dr. Martins. "Teenagers seek autonomy, but they may not yet have the maturity to keep them from engaging in risky behaviors."

Importantly, the study is the first to identify a way for parents to prevent future problems with gambling. Gender, race, socioeconomic status, impulsivity, aggression, and affiliation with peers who engage in antisocial behavior are all known risk factors for gambling, but all are difficult to intervene on. Parental monitoring, on the other hand, is known to be an effective intervention throughout early adolescence. While the intervention in this study lasted just one year and targeted academic achievement and aggression, the individuals were interviewed annually since first grade (when they were 6 years-old).

"This study identifies a characteristic that future gambling prevention and intervention programs can target," said Dr. Martins.

A potential explanation for the decline in gambling in the Stable group could also be explained by the fact that priorities begin to shift as adolescents mature, and the time previously spent on risky activities, such as gambling, is now often devoted to establishing careers and intimate relationships. Another reason suggested by Dr. Martins and colleagues is that with the advent of online social networking sites, young adults could be spending more free time on their smart phones, computers, and other electronic devices instead of gambling.

Youth Gambling: An Increasing Concern

Gambling among youth is a growing problem. Studies have shown that more than 80% of them have engaged in gambling, and as many as 13% meet the diagnostic criteria to be considered problem gamblers. This encompasses a preoccupation with gambling and obtaining money to gamble, gambling despite adverse consequences, and an inability to stop gambling despite a desire to do so.

In Maryland, where the study population was based, video lottery terminals were legalized in 2008 and table games, in 2012. Across the country, the gambling industry is on the rise. "The recent expansion of gambling outlets coupled with the growth of online gambling could increase gambling among young adults. For this reason, it is important to understand what makes a child vulnerable to problem gambling and ways to intervene," said Dr. Martins.

The study builds on previous research by Dr. Martins finding that a pattern of impulsivity beginning in the first grade predicts problem gambling in urban male teenagers.


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. Grace P. Lee, Elizabeth A. Stuart, Nicholas S. Ialongo, Silvia S. Martins. Parental monitoring trajectories and gambling among a longitudinal cohort of urban youth. Addiction, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/add.12399

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Parental monitoring lowers odds of gambling problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112163214.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2013, November 12). Parental monitoring lowers odds of gambling problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112163214.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Parental monitoring lowers odds of gambling problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112163214.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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