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Despite the multidimensional/ecological integrative perspective that suggests that the risk for problem gambling in adolescents can be determined by an interactive effect of different risk factors, few studies have investigated how different individual factors may affect the risk for problem gambling in a multiplicative way. This study aimed at exploring the interaction between immigrant status (IS) and sensation seeking (SS) on adolescent problem-gambling severity. The study involved 994 Italian adolescents (64% boys, M = 16.57, SD = 1.62). Participants' IS, SS and problem-gambling severity were individually assessed through, respectively, a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS) and the South Oaks Gambling Screen - Revised for Adolescents (SOGS-RA). Results showed that, among immigrant adolescents, there were higher levels of problem-gambling severity and a higher distribution of at-risk and problem gamblers with respect to non-immigrant adolescents. Both IS and SS had significant direct effects on problem-gambling severity, with IS and higher levels of SS being predictors of greater severity. A moderation analysis - controlling for gender and age - showed that adolescents with high scores of SS were more prone to experience gambling problems if they were also immigrant. These results have important implications for practice as they emphasize that specific interventions aimed at preventing problem gambling would be required for adolescents from immigrant families. In particular, it would be important to consider the role of SS in this specific youth target.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Addictive behaviors
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