ERIC Number: EJ711888
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-1
Reference Count: 14
Gambling by Underage College Students: Preferences and Pathology
Platz, Laurie; Knapp, Terry J.; Crossman, Edward W.
College Student Journal, v39 n1 p3 Mar 2005
The gaming industry shares a problem with the makers of alcoholic beverages: how to market a product to a broad set of consumers some of whom are excluded by legal statute from partaking. Just as there are underage drinkers of alcohol, there are the underage who frequent casinos and create a regulatory problem for the industry, and occasionally personal problems for themselves. The legal age for casino wagering in the United States is 21 years for all states, though some states may permit other forms of gambling at lower ages. Thus, the problem of gambling by underage persons is recognized as a matter of social concern for both the industry and for the individual. The present study assessed the frequency of gambling, game preferences, and degree of pathology reported by college students who were not yet of legal age to wager. Students who voluntarily participated in this study were recruited from psychology classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Participants were informed about the nature of the study and completed a set of questionnaires in a group setting. The questionnaire analyzed in the present report was The South Oaks Gambling Screen (the SOGS) an instrument shown to be a reliable and valid measure of gambling problems (Lesieur & Blume, 1987). In addition, demographic inquires and questions relating to various kinds of gambling behavior were included. Based on self-report measures significant numbers of college students in the present sample had gambled in a casino though they were not yet of legal age to do so. This was the case for over fifty percent of the participants for every age bracket from 18 through 20. Moreover, a large number of those under 21 gave evidence suggestive of pathological gambling. Thus, gambling in general and pathological gambling in particular appear widespread among a student population at a large state university located in a city with readily available gaming. Considerable educational efforts are made each fall to assure that college students are knowledgeable about the dangers of alcohol abuse and drug addiction. It may be time to add gambling to the list of potential threats to an academic career and successful life.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nevada; United States