Teen Gambling

Teen Gambling : Understanding a Growing Epidemic

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Never before in our history have we witnessed such an explosion of worldwide gambling opportunities. Our love affair with gambling points to its widespread appeal as a socially acceptable leisure activity. However, gambling, once thought to be strictly an adult activity, has become an increasingly popular pastime among adolescents. Whether engaged in wagering on games of personal skill, poker amongst friends, purchasing lottery tickets, sports wagering, casino gambling, or gambling over the Internet, its popularity among the young is on the rise. There is growing evidence that large numbers of adolescents remain actively involved and engaged in almost all forms of both regulated and unregulated gambling activities in spite of age restrictions.

While gambling addiction is recognized as a psychiatric disorder, there is a common misconception that adults are the only sufferers. Yet data from around the world point to high levels of gambling problems amongst adolescents, with rates of adolescent gambling problems being between 2-4 times those of adults.

Based upon a growing body of evidence, this book provides a better understanding of our current knowledge concerning the causes and extent of youth gambling problems. Using real life examples, Derevensky shows how adolescents gain access to gambling activities, what issues arise from those activities, and the tools we have available for assessing problem gambling among youth. He provides clear and practical strategies for the prevention and treatment of youth with gambling problems and points the way to understanding the extent and consequences of enabling youth gambling.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 159 x 234 x 25mm | 522g
  • Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1442202262
  • 9781442202269
  • 1,386,446

Table of contents


1: Gambling: An Introduction and Historical Perspective
2: Gambling Behaviors Among Adolescents
3: Adolescent Problem Gambling
4: Measuring and Assessing Adolescent Problem Gambling
5: Preventing Adolescent Problem Gambling
6: Helping Adolescents with Gambling Problems
7: Gambling as a Public Health Issue

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Review quote

This book adds significantly to the literature on adolescent gambling and problem gambling. Derevensky (psychology, McGill Univ.), who has been working in this field for more than two decades, concisely summarizes what is known about youth gambling and problem gambling--how social and psychological factors correlate and how to successfully treat young people with gambling problems. In the gambling literature, as well as within Derevensky's own conceptualization, there appears to be a blur between frequent gambling and problematic gambling. The author systematically outlines the surge in legalized gambling that accompanied the development of modern, postindustrial societies, and he examines the emphasis on leisure and recreation that legitimized gambling. Within this framework, he argues, modern computer technology brought about unprecedented new gambling opportunities for youths. Derevensky points out that the public still lacks a complete understanding of youth gambling problems, unless they are paired with substance abuse. Students of gambling and addictive behaviors will find much value in this informative work. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. * CHOICE * This is a must read book for anyone interested in the field of adolescent gambling. It synthesizes the empirical evidence from all around the world and serves as a 'one-stop shop' for anyone who wants to know anything about youth gambling. -- Mark Griffiths, Ph.D., professor, Psychology Division, Nottingham Trent University, UK Dr. Derevensky has issued a clarion call for a better understanding and prevention of teen gambling. Derived from his decades of research and treatment experience, this book provides valuable perspective on the problem of youth gambling and what to do about it. Dr. Derevensky provides a unique and comprehensive review of youth gambling and its impact on our young people as only he can do. This book is for anyone interested in our collective future, and our children. -- Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S., associate professor, Harvard Medical School, and director, Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance In this book, Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, the world's leading authority on youth gambling, provides an up-to-date and accessible volume on the current status of teen gambling. As most teens gamble and early life gambling is associated with current problems as well as ones later in life, the book addresses an important public health concern. The book is a must-read for people who share interests in promoting youth health, including parents, teachers, school administrators, clinicians, and policy makers. -- Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD, director, Yale Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, and professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine An excellent resource for everyone involved in gambling issues and an important wake up call for youth advocates, clinicians and researchers. The profound clinical and policy implications of teen gambling are explored in depth by the leading expert in the field. -- Keith Whyte, executive director, National Council on Problem Gambling Jeffrey Derevensky explains the significance of the growing availability and acceptability of gambling. While in the past an underage person may have needed to circumvent casino security, a gambling opportunity can now be as close as his or her smartphone. This excellent book covers what is known about youth gambling, and points the way for future advances. It should be read by everyone concerned about the problem. -- John W. Welte, Senior Research Scientist, Research Institute on Addictions In Teen Gambling: Understanding a Growing Epidemic, Dr. Derevensky captures the significance and complexity of youth gambling problems within the larger societal context through a fascinating review of the field's current research. He shares his comprehensive understanding of the adolescent gambler and of the risk factors that may set the stage for gambling initiation, maintenance and preoccupation. Certainly, this book provides clinicians, policy makers and those working with adolescents with important tools to identify and help these youth through prevention initiatives and treatment interventions. -- Meredith A. M. Gillespie, Ph.D., C. Psych, Clinical Child Psychologist, Toronto, Ontario
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About Jeffrey L. Derevensky

Jeffrey L. Derevensky, Ph.D., is a child psychologist, Professor and Director of Clinical Training in School/Applied Child Psychology and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. He is the co-director of McGill University's International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, is on the editorial board of numerous journals, and is a clinical consultant to hospitals, school boards, government agencies and corporations.
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