Shared Predictors of Youthful Gambling, Substance Use, and Delinquency

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Given that gambling, alcohol misuse, other drug use, and delinquency are correlated, it is hypothesized that these problem behaviors have shared antecedents. Measures from 3 explanatory domains—sociodemographic factors (age, race, and socioeconomic status), individual factors (impulsivity and moral disengagement), and socialization factors (parental monitoring and peer delinquency)—were tested for links to problem behaviors in 2 longitudinal samples of adolescents. Black youth had lower levels of problem behaviors than Whites. Impulsivity was a significant predictor of alcohol misuse for females and delinquency for males. Moral disengagement predicted gambling for males. Parental monitoring showed a significant inverse relationship to alcohol misuse and other substance use for males. Peer delinquency showed numerous prospective paths to youth problem behaviors for both genders.

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