Childhood impulsive behavior and problem gambling by adulthood: a 30-year prospective community-based study
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2011
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 1, pages 160–168, January 2012
How to Cite
Shenassa, E. D., Paradis, A. D., Dolan, S. L., Wilhelm, C. S. and Buka, S. L. (2012), Childhood impulsive behavior and problem gambling by adulthood: a 30-year prospective community-based study. Addiction, 107: 160–168. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03571.x
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 JUL 2011 01:56PM EST
- Submitted 19 October 2010; initial review completed 22 December 2010; final version accepted 5 July 2011
- impulsive behavior;
- longitudinal study;
- Maternal & Child Health;
- New England Family Study;
- problem gambling;
- shy/depressed behavior;
Aims Problem gambling can create major financial, emotional and sometimes criminal problems for an individual. This study prospectively investigated the association between impulsive behavior at age 7 and the development of life-time problem gambling by adulthood. We also examined the specificity of any observed association between impulsive behaviors and problem gambling by conducting parallel analyses examining the link between respondents' shy/depressed behavior in childhood and later problem gambling.
Design, setting and participants Cohort study of 958 offspring of mothers enrolled in the Collaborative Perinatal Project who participated in an adult follow-up study at a mean age of 39.2 years.
Measurements Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to determine associations between psychologist-rated impulsive and shy/depressed behaviors at age 7 and life-time self-reported gambling as measured by the South Oaks Gambling Screen administered during the adult follow-up study.
Findings Children who exhibited impulsive behaviors at age 7, compared to their non-impulsive counterparts, were 3.09 (95% confidence interval: 1.40–6.82) times as likely to report problem gambling years later. In contrast, we did not find a significant association between childhood shy/depressed behavior and problem gambling by adulthood in adjusted analyses.
Conclusions Impulsive behaviors at age 7 are a specific and significant risk factor for later problem gambling.