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Gambling Habits Contribute to Lower Academic Performance, Canadian Study Shows

Problem gambling can have a serious negative effect on the physical, emotional, and financial health of the compulsive gamblers. Problem-gambling rates across different countries in the world vary widely. Problem gambling is one of the most hidden epidemics in the modern world and it can affect everyone, regardless of any demographic characteristic. In that sense, no one can predict who will develop gambling-issues. Treatment is possible, but only when there is a complete evaluation of the problem. An undeniable fact is that gambling addictions can ruin people’s life. Hence, many people fear the opening of new casinos in their countries.

In fact, countries with regulated gambling industry are investing millions in various gambling harm minimization campaigns. Australia tops the list of the countries with the highest rate of gambling in the world. Unfortunately, Canada is also included in this list. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians suffer from a gambling problem.

What are the Conclusions of the Research

What is most disturbing is that young people and adolescents are among the most susceptible to gambling and they are considered more at risk for developing gambling problems. According to a recent study led by Frank Vitaro of the University of Montreal, most of the teens, who are involved in gambling activities are prone to problems at school.

Frank Vitaro of the University of Montreal, together with Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center and the Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment in Canada conducted the research, which involved 766 Canadians between the age of 14 to 17. They were asked certain questions related to their gambling habits and academic performance.

Surprisingly, the focus of the research was not the frequency and duration of time played, but the various gambling activities, in which the teens are involved. In that way, the research could make a more accurate prediction whether a person is vulnerable to gambling problems. Apart from that, the research also collected information on the social status and structure of the families in which the teens were raised.

The research found a relation between the academic performance of the teens and their gambling hobby. According to the research, teens that have been involved in gambling practices see their academic performance dip in the following years.

Speaking of the results, Mr. Vitaro explained that the students with gambling hobbies spend more time on gambling rather than on school-related work like reading books, attending class, doing homework and others. He elaborated that the teenagers with gambling habits are exposed to the negative influence of their peers with the same hobby. Mr. Vitaro added that early prevention plays a crucial role in solving problem gambling.