Recent research suggests that youth problem gambling is associated with several factors, but little is known how these factors might influence or interact each other in predicting this behavior. Consequently, this is the first study to examine the mediation effect of coping styles in the relationship between attachment to parental figures and problem gambling.
A total of 988 adolescents and emerging adults were recruited to participate. The first set of analyses tested the adequacy of a model comprising biological, cognitive, and family variables in predicting youth problem gambling. The second set of analyses explored the relationship between family and individual variables in problem gambling behavior.
The results of the first set of analyses demonstrated that the individual factors of gender, cognitive distortions, and coping styles showed a significant predictive effect on youth problematic gambling, and the family factors of attachment and family structure did not reveal a significant influence on this behavior. The results of the second set of analyses demonstrated that the attachment dimension of angry distress exerted a more indirect influence on problematic gambling, through emotion-focused coping style.
This study revealed that some family variables can have a more indirect effect on youth gambling behavior and provided some insights in how some factors interact in predicting problem gambling.