Psychological Correlates of Disordered Gambling Tendencies Among Chinese High School and Undergraduate Students

Abstract

Young people are vulnerable to disordered gambling in Chinese societies, such as Macao. This study aimed to assess the extent to which psychological factors (i.e., self-esteem, negative attitudes, subjective norms, and refusal self-efficacy) are associated with disordered gambling relative to two different youth populations. We recruited 809 high school students and 427 undergraduate students in a survey with anonymous, structured questionnaires. As expected, student gamblers reported significantly fewer negative attitudes, more positive subjective norms, and lower refusal self-efficacy than nongamblers. The undergraduate sample reported more positive subjective norms but higher refusal self-efficacy and self-esteem than the high school sample. Refusal self-efficacy was a negative correlate of disordered gambling symptoms in both samples, after gender was controlled for. Moreover, the indirect protective effect of self-esteem on disordered gambling via increasing refusal self-efficacy was also found. The findings suggest that global self-esteem and gambling refusal self-efficacy should be particularly emphasized in preventive interventions for disordered gambling among young gamblers.

Publication
In International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
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