Gambling cards and dice.

Benefits of Parental Monitoring-8: Gambling

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This is the eighth in a series of blogs examining benefits of parental monitoring.

Gambling cards and dice.

Indiana University conducted research among 116 boys and girls (average age 16.8 years) attending a Midwestern urban high school. The students were surveyed to determine the how often they gambled, and relationship between gambling and their parental and peer influences.

Almost all of the students (91%) reported gambling at least once in their lifetime, while 36.2% reported gambling once a week, 19% reported gambling on a daily basis, and 26% were classified as problem gamblers.

Parental gambling was related to how often students had gambled in the past year and also increased the teenagers’ likelihood of being classified as a problem gambler.

Teens who were more attached to their parents showed lower levels of gambling, while those who felt they couldn’t trust or communicate with their parental showed an increase in problem gambling. Parental monitoring and supervision showed similar results, because increased monitoring and supervision resulted in lower levels of teenage gambling.

In addition, when peer influences were stronger than parental influences, teens gambled more. This study reinforces the valuable role parents play in either risk-enhancing or risk-inhibiting influences on their teenage kids.

Monitor your kids’ time and activities and be sure that your kids understand that you are checking up on them. It matters!

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Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.