College students' gambling behavior: When does it become harmful?


Objective: The authors investigated behavioral indicators of pathological gambling in a college student sample. Participants and Methods: The authors administered a diagnostic interview for pathological gambling to 159 college students, who also completed a demographic questionnaire, and a self-report measure of psychological distress. Results: Consistent patterns of gambling behavior associated with pathological gambling included gambling more than 1.2 times per month, gambling more than 2.1 hours per month, intending to wager more than 6.1% of monthly income, and wagering more than 10.5% of monthly income. In addition, the combination of psychological distress, gambling frequency, and a history of parental gambling problems was significantly associated with pathological gambling in college students. Conclusions: These findings suggest initial markers of problematic gambling behavior in a college sample that may be used in assessment, prevention, and intervention. Copyright © 2008 Heldref Publications.

Publication Title

Journal of American College Health