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Arch Hellen Med, 31(5), September-October 2014, 570-582


Pathological adolescent gambling

D.C. Anagnostopoulos, A. Palaiologou, E. Lazaratou
Mental Health Service for Children and Adolescents, Community Mental Health Centre Vironas-Kessariani,
First Department of Psychiatry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece

Pathological gambling among adolescents is spreading globally. Gambling is a socially acceptable form of entertainment that is easily accessible for adolescents. It is freely advertised by all the available media, while information on the dangers of this activity is lacking. Gambling is very popular among adolescents, increasing numbers of whom are becoming addicted to it. This review is based on bibliographical research by PubMed and Google Scholar search engines for the period 1984−2013. The characteristics, impact, prevalence, risk factors, and means of dealing with the phenomenon are presented. Most of the publications are of quantitative epidemiological studies on student populations in Canada, the US, and Great Britain, which conclude that adolescents are a high-risk group for the development of gambling disorder, being up to four times more likely to develop an addiction to gambling than adults. In Greece, clinical evidence indicates that this phenomenon has been spreading in the last years of the economic crisis, although there is a notable lack of evidence-based epidemiological data. It is imperative that this phenomenon is investigated in order to deal with it early and effectively.

Key words: Adolescence, Gambling, Pathological gambling, Problem gambling.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine