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Prevalence estimates of gambling and problem gambling among 13- to 15-year-old adolescents in Reykjavík: An examination of correlates of problem gambling and different accessibility to electronic gambling machines in Iceland

Daníel Thor Ólason, Guđmundur A. Skarphedinsson, Johanna Ella Jonsdottir, Mikael Mikaelsson, Sigurdur J. Gretarsson


This paper reports the main findings from a prevalence study of adolescent gambling and problem gambling among Icelandic adolescents. The final sample consisted of 3,511 pupils aged 13 to 15 in 25 primary schools in Reykjavík. The results indicated that 93% of adolescents had gambled some time in their life and 70% at least once in the preceding year. Problem gambling prevalence rates were evaluated with two gambling screens, American Psychological Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, Multiple-Response-Junior (DSM-IV-MR-J) and the South Oaks Gambling Screen Revised for Adolescents (SOGS-RA). The DSM-IV-MR-J identified 1.9% as problem gamblers, while SOGS-RA identified 2.8% as problem gamblers. The results also showed that problem gamblers reported more difficulties in school and used alcohol and other drugs more frequently than adolescents who gambled socially or not at all. Finally, evaluation of electronic gambling machine (EGM) accessibility revealed that gambling on low-stakes EGMs in public places was more common than on EGMs in arcades or bars and restaurants. The potential implications of these findings are discussed.


adolescent; gambling; problem gambling; electronic gambling machines; EGMs

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