Growing empirical evidence suggests that adolescents have a relatively greater propensity to develop problematic video gaming or gambling habits.
The main objectives of this study are to estimate the prevalence of potential pathological gambling and video game use among adolescent students and to evaluate their risk factors.
This is a cross-sectional multi-informant study based on an online survey. It will include a sample of adolescents attending secondary schools located in Brescia, northern Italy, their schoolteachers, and parents. The survey includes extensive data on adolescents’ (1) demographic, social, economic, and environmental characteristics; (2) behavioral, emotional, and social problems and adaptive functioning; (3) emotional and social loneliness; (4) perception of the reasons to use social networks; (5) video game habits and pathological use of video gaming; and (6) gambling behaviors.
This protocol was approved by the Institutional Ethics Board of the Spedali Civili of Brescia (Italy). We expect to collect data from 793 or more adolescent students, as determined by our sample size calculation.
This multisite project will make a substantial contribution to (1) the implementation of a system for identifying pathological gambling and pathological video game use among adolescents, allowing for interventions aimed at improving adolescents’ financial, emotional, and social well-being; and (2) the identification of distinct profiles of gamblers and pathological video gamers that will contribute to setting up effective targeted prevention measures. Understanding the causes and impact of gambling and pathological video gaming on adolescents is a public health issue.