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Article

Adult Gambling Problems and Histories of Mental Health and Substance Use: Findings from a Prospective Multi-Wave Australian Cohort Study

1
Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
2
Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
4
Australian Institute of Family Studies, Level 4, 40 City Road, Southbank, VIC 3006, Australia
5
Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3053, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Joint first author.
Joint senior author.
Academic Editor: Susana Jiménez-Murcia
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(7), 1406; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071406
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2021 / Accepted: 25 March 2021 / Published: 1 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Gambling, Gaming and Other Behavioural Addictions)
Little is known about the cumulative effect of adolescent and young adult mental health difficulties and substance use problems on gambling behaviour in adulthood. We use data from one of Australia’s longest running studies of social and emotional development to examine the extent to which: (1) mental health symptoms (depressive and anxiety symptoms) and substance use (weekly binge drinking, tobacco, and cannabis use) from adolescence (13–18 years) into young adulthood (19–28 years) predict gambling problems in adulthood (31–32 years); and (2) risk relationships differ by sex. Analyses were based on responses from 1365 adolescent and young adult participants, spanning seven waves of data collection (1998–2014). Persistent adolescent to young adult binge drinking, tobacco use and cannabis use predicted gambling at age 31–32 years (OR = 2.30–3.42). Binge drinking and tobacco use in young adulthood also predicted gambling at age 31–32 years (OR = 2.04–2.54). Prior mental health symptoms were not associated with gambling and no risk relationships differed by sex. Findings suggest that gambling problems in adulthood may be related to the earlier development of other addictive behaviours, and that interventions targeting substance use from adolescence to young adulthood may confer additional gains in preventing later gambling behaviours. View Full-Text
Keywords: problem gambling; gambling; persistent; mental health; substance use; longitudinal; anxiety; depression; alcohol; tobacco; cannabis problem gambling; gambling; persistent; mental health; substance use; longitudinal; anxiety; depression; alcohol; tobacco; cannabis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Merkouris, S.S.; Greenwood, C.J.; Youssef, G.J.; Letcher, P.; Vassallo, S.; Dowling, N.A.; Olsson, C.A. Adult Gambling Problems and Histories of Mental Health and Substance Use: Findings from a Prospective Multi-Wave Australian Cohort Study. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 1406. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071406

AMA Style

Merkouris SS, Greenwood CJ, Youssef GJ, Letcher P, Vassallo S, Dowling NA, Olsson CA. Adult Gambling Problems and Histories of Mental Health and Substance Use: Findings from a Prospective Multi-Wave Australian Cohort Study. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(7):1406. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071406

Chicago/Turabian Style

Merkouris, Stephanie S., Christopher J. Greenwood, George J. Youssef, Primrose Letcher, Suzanne Vassallo, Nicki A. Dowling, and Craig A. Olsson. 2021. "Adult Gambling Problems and Histories of Mental Health and Substance Use: Findings from a Prospective Multi-Wave Australian Cohort Study" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 7: 1406. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071406

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