Longitudinal links between gambling participation and academic performance in youth : a test of four models
Gambling participation and academic achievement
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofJournal of gambling issues ; vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 881-892.
Gambling participation and low academic performance are related during adolescence, but the causal mechanisms underlying this link are unclear. It is possible that gambling participation impairs academic performance. Alternatively, the link between gambling participation and low academic performance could be explained by common underlying risk factors such as impulsivity and socio-family adversity. It could also be explained by other current correlated problem behaviors such as substance use. The goal of the present study was to examine whether concurrent and longitudinal links between gambling participation and low academic performance exist from age 14 to age 17 years, net of common antecedent factors and current substance use. A convenience sample of 766 adolescents (50.6% males) from a longitudinal twin sample participated in the study. Analyses revealed significant, albeit modest, concurrent links at both ages between gambling participation and academic performance. There was also a longitudinal link between gambling participation at age 14 and academic performance at age 17, which persisted after controlling for age 12 impulsivity and socio-family adversity as well as current substance use. Gambling participation predicts a decrease in academic performance during adolescence, net of concurrent and antecedent personal and familial risk factors.