Youth Gambling Abuse: Issues and Challenges to Counselling

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  • Topic: Problem gambling, Gamblers Anonymous, Gaming law
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  • Published : April 4, 2011
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YOUTH GAMBLING ABUSE: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES TO COUNSELLING

BY
TOYOBO, O. M. Ph.D
woltosix@yahoo.com

&

JIBOKU, A.O. (MRS)
ajibolawemmy2003@yahoo.com

Department of Educational Psychology,
Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu-Ijebu, Ogun State.

ABSRTACT

In recent times the global world has witnessed an upsurge of gambling activities, increased participation in gambling activities and gambling related problems. Research has shown that the nation’s economy is at a threat and youth and children are at an increased risk for the development of gambling related problems. There is a significant amount of evidence that suggest that youths are actively participating in both legal and illegal forms of gambling. The proliferation of gambling activities in the country is not without its social, personal and economic cost. It has reduced creativity and innovation that is needed to promote the socio-economic development of the nation. Prevention and intervention programmes should be mounted by counselling psychologists to reduce the upsurge of gambling activities and its attendant effects on youth behaviour.

Introduction

In recent times the global World has witnessed an upsurge of gambling activities, increased participation in gambling activities and gambling related problems. Research has shown that the nation’s economy is at a threat and youth and children are at an increased with risk for the development of gambling related problems. There is a significant amount of evidence that suggest that youths are actively participating in both legal and illegal forms of gambling. The proliferation of gambling activities in the country is not without its social, personal and economic costs. It has reduced creativity and innovation that is needed to promote the socio-economic development of the nation. In 1928, Freud published an essay about the pathological gambling of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the Russian author who wrote a novel called The Gambler based on his personal experience. However, not until 1980 was pathological gambling acknowledged by the American Psychiatric Association as a psychiatric disorder of impulse control. The classification of pathological gambling as a psychiatric disorder was followed by the development of uniform diagnostic criteria, a valid, reliable screening tool- the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) (Lesieur H. R., & Blume, S.E. 1987) and preliminary neurobiological studies that implicated serotonergic dysfunction in pathological gambling (Roy A., Adinoff B., & Roerich L., 1988). However, few psychiatrists have had substantial experience in the prevention, assessment and treatment of pathological gambling. Moreover, despite rapid increases in gambling opportunities in the last decade, public health, clinical and social implications of gambling behaviour have been understudied among youths. Gambling has been accompanied by emotional and financial damages to these individuals and their families and by legal and financial costs to the community.

Description and Definitions of Gambling
Gambling is a popular recreational outlet for youth and may include sports betting, cards, lotteries, animal racing and casino gambling. As the popularity of legalized gambling grows, a disturbing report suggests that gambling by teenagers is casinos is on the rise and that enforcement of legal age restrictions at casinos is quite poor (Frank, M.L., 1990). As with psychoactive substance use, the threshold that separates normative from pathological behaviour, particularly in youth, is not clear (Kaminer Y., 1994).Whether problematic gambling is an early stage of pathological gambling is not entirely clear. It has been consistently found that rates of problem gambling among adolescents are higher than in the adult population, and that only a subgroup of adolescents may be vulnerable to developing future problem gambling and pathological gambling (Winters K.C., Sinchfield R. &...
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