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Adolescents with gambling problems: A synopsis of our current knowledge

Jeffrey L. Derevensky, Rina Gupta


It's been 25 years since Henry Lesieur's seminal research on understanding compulsive gambling was published. While still in its infancy, the field of gambling research has evolved and greatly added to a better understanding of this complex behavior, its measurement, its social and familial costs, ways of minimizing and preventing gambling problems, and methods of treating individuals with gambling problems. For most adolescents and adults gambling remains a form of entertainment without serious negative consequences. Yet, adolescent pathological gamblers, like their adult counterparts and independent of the negative consequences resulting from their excessive gambling, continue to chase their losses, exhibit a preoccupation with gambling, and have an impaired ability to stop gambling in spite of repeated attempts and their desire to do so. Our current empirical knowledge of youth gambling problems is reviewed and recommendations for future research are provided.

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