An investigation of gambling behaviour and its relationship to alcohol use and low quality of life in youth gamblers

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Nolan, Maria
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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'None would argue but that gambling is a vice - one in which most of us indulge from time to time without harm. But, as with all vices, there is the problem of overindulgence, or addiction' (O'Brien, 1995). This study seeks to explore the frequency of gambling behaviour among young people of age 18-30 years, to examine the association between problem gambling and alcohol dependence, and to examine the relationship between gambling and various quality of life domains. It was predicted that increased levels of gambling behaviour would correlate with increased levels of alcohol dependence, and low levels of satisfaction in relation to quality of life. A sample of 120 college students from two institutes of higher education in Dublin, Ireland completed the South Oaks Gambling Scale (Lesieur & Blume, 1987), the Short Alcohol Dependence Data (Raistrick, Dunbar, & Davidson, 1983), and the Quality of Life Index (Ferrans & Powers, 1985). Results indicate that there is a significant relationship between gambling behaviour and alcohol dependence in college students. The findings also revealed a correlation between increased levels of gambling and decreased levels of life satisfaction. Overall, the findings from this study contribute to a growing field of research on gambling and related problem behaviours, and provide an insight into the frequency of these behaviours in early adulthood.