Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
James P. Whelan
Andrew W. Meyers
Theresa M. Okwumabua
High rates of at-risk adolescents have gambled, many in the past year. Many of these young people have also experienced a number of difficulties associated with their gambling including criminal acts. Problem gambling has been shown to co-occur with other risk-taking behaviors, such as substance use and delinquency. Males and ethnic minorities have a tendency to be at higher risk for developing gambling problems. Other factors that place adolescents at an increased risk for problem gambling include family history of gambling and peer involvement in gambling. When considering what motivates individuals to gamble, outcome expectancies have been identified as strong predictors of actual engagement in gambling. Previous work with other problem behaviors has shown that brief interventions may reduce risky gambling behavior among adolescents. The current project extended this body of research by evaluating whether a brief motivational intervention would alter the gambling behavior of at-risk adolescents compared to adolescents not receiving the intervention. Twenty-one students were assessed at three time periods: initial assessment, 45-day follow-up, and 90-day follow-up. Results indicated associations between gambling behavior and substance use, peer gambling, and criminal behavior. There were no differences between male and female gamblers. Although no statistically significant differences emerged between the intervention condition and the assessment-only condition, there were observed reductions in overall gambling behavior. These reductions were maintained through the 90-day follow-up period. Several factors may account for these observed reductions, including contextual changes for students involved in this study.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Watson, Andrea Nichole, "Exploring a Treatment for Problem Gambling by At-risk Adolescents: A Randomized Trial of a Brief Intervention" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 540.