Transmission of Problem Gambling Between Adjacent Generations

Forrest, David ORCID: 0000-0003-0565-3396 and McHale, Ian G ORCID: 0000-0002-7686-3879
(2021) Transmission of Problem Gambling Between Adjacent Generations. JOURNAL OF GAMBLING STUDIES, 37 (2). pp. 711-722.

Access the full-text of this item by clicking on the Open Access link.
[thumbnail of TRANSMISSION OF PROBLEM GAMBLING, author accepted version.docx] Text
TRANSMISSION OF PROBLEM GAMBLING, author accepted version.docx - Author Accepted Manuscript

Download (42kB)


We investigate the extent to which gambling problems at age 20 are linked to parental gambling behaviour during childhood, employing data from a longitudinal study (ALSPAC) which has followed parents and children from Avon, England since pregnancy. 1058 children completed a problem gambling screen at age 20. When those children had been age 6, each of their parents was asked about their own gambling. We used regression to estimate the effect of parental gambling behaviour at child age 6 on the child's problem gambling risk at age 20. Parental gambling participation at child age 6 was not a predictor of offspring problem gambling; but problem gambling by parents was a predictor of offspring problem gambling. However, this latter result was found only cross-gender (fathers' behaviour influencing daughters and mothers' behaviour influencing sons). This pattern was robust to models including measures of parental education and variables capturing family attitudes to health choices and the degree of domestic harmony. The sample illustrates high problem gambling prevalence amongst young adults. Although there is transmission of 'problem gambling' between generations, it appears to happen only cross-gender. This limits the importance of parental problem gambling as a source of the high prevalence because relatively few mothers exhibit problem gambling and risks to daughters from fathers are in the context of initially low baseline risks. Preventative policies might therefore be more appropriately targeted at young adults rather than rely on influencing parental gambling behaviour earlier in the child's life.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Longitudinal data, Youth gambling, Problem gambling, Environmental influences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2020 08:16
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:31
DOI: 10.1007/s10899-020-09977-8
Open Access URL:
Related URLs: