Gender and gambling involvement: An analysis based on a nationally representative sample


Ahuja, Manik; Cunningham-Williams, Renee M.; & Bucholz, Kathleen K. (2018). Gender and gambling involvement: An analysis based on a nationally representative sample. 2018 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Gambling among adolescents and young adults is a growing problem with potential for adverse consequences including increases in substance use (Ferentzy and Turner 2013), psychiatric disorders, and gambling problems later in life (Castren 2015). Rates of gambling among males are historically known to be higher than females, although it has become more socially acceptable among females (Heater 2006). Females, are considered an emerging population of gamblers that have been vastly understudied (Wong 2013; Heater 2006; Martins, 2008). In the current research, we examined the association of key risk and protective factors for gambling involvement including neighborhood, well-being, risky behaviors, conduct and substance use in a sample among African American and European American females. The sample was comprised of young adults (ages 18-26; Mean age=22.8) self-identifying as European American (n=5,211) or African American (n=1,891) who were selected among the larger sample of those participating in Wave III (n=15,170) of the restricted-use National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Harris 2009). For these analyses, we examined gambling correlates using logistic regression with a binary gambling involvement outcome variable: gambled in two or more categories of games, gambled within only one category or less. Overall, in the AA cohort n=531 (28.8 %) gambled in two or more categories. After simultaneously considering all risk factors, childhood physical discipline (OR=1.41, [95% C.I. 1.11-1.81]), less happy in current neighborhood (OR=1.51, [95% C.I. 1.03-2.19]), past year weekly alcohol use (OR=1.56, [95% C.I. 1.06-2.28]), past year cannabis use (OR=1.68, [95% C.I. 1.26-2.23]), and 10 or more lifetime sexual partners (OR=1.42, [95% C.I. 1.08-1.87]) were associated with increased gambling involvement in the AA cohort. Weekly attendance of religious services (OR=0.67, [95% C.I. 0.52-9.86]) was protective and associated with a reduced risk of gambling. In the EA cohort n=2,434 (46.7%) gambled in two or more categories. Childhood physical discipline (OR=1.07, [95% C.I. 1.02-1.34]), past-year weekly alcohol use (OR=1.64, [95% C.I. 1.43-1.89]), and current smoking (OR=1.27, [95% C.I. 1.13-1.44]) were associated with increased gambling involvement. Attendance at religious services (OR=0.53, [95% C.I. 0.45-0.62]) and less social acceptance (OR=0.72, [95% C.I. 0.53-0.98]) were protective and reduced the risk of gambling.

Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2018 Add Health Users Conference


Ahuja, Manik
Cunningham-Williams, Renee M.
Bucholz, Kathleen K.

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID