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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2002 October;93(5):413-8

language: English

The prevalence of pathological gambling in Romanian teenagers

Lupu V., Onaca E., Lupu D.


Background. The liberalization of teenagers' way of life strikingly increased in Romania after 1989; this includes gambling. The goal of our study is to analyze the different aspects of gambling in some teenager communities in Romania.
Methods. The study included 500 school-teenagers from 3 different Romanian districts (Cluj, Salaj and Bacau). Of these 217 (43.40%) were males and 283 (56.60%) females. Median age was 16 years old (range 14-19). A structural questionnaire was applied to the teenagers consisting in ''The 20 questions of the American Anonymous Gambling Association''. Other 20 questions about their age, gender, family, income, school, toxic abuse, gambling preferences, the frequency and the amount of money they use in gambling were also proposed.
Results. The results of the study were as it follows: 34 (6.8%) of the tested teenagers were pathological gamblers, 28 (82.36%) males and 6 (17.64%) females, with a ratio F:M of 1: 4.6 .
The average age of starting gambling was 13.25 1.51 years old.
The majority (82.35%) prefers group gambling and only 17.64% prefer individual gambling. Of these, 47.5% of them gamble very often (almost every day) and 38.2% gamble often (once a week). The most frequent gambling was: pool (55.88%), poker (35.29%), bingo (32.35%), and basketball on a bet (5.88%), black-jack, roulette and craps (2.94% each). Gambling was the reason for school absenteeism and modest results at school in 64.70% and 52.94% of all the teenagers respectively.
Conclusions. The results of the study revealed very concerning aspects of the increased incidence of gambling among Romanian teenagers, compared to the UK (6% of them are gambling).

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