Romanian National Prevalence Study – problem and pathological gambling in children and adolescents
Background and Aims. The purpose of the present study was to measure the prevalence of problem and pathological gambling in children and adolescents at a national level, given that previous studies at regional level had demonstrated high rates of prevalence.
Methods. After designing the sample (2006 children and adolescents aged 11-19 years) we used two validated instruments for measuring the prevalence of problem and pathological gambling in children and adolescents – South Oaks Gambling Screen –Revised for Adolescents (SOGS-RA) and 20 Questions of Gamblers Anonymous Revised for Adolescents (20 GA-RA).
Results. The following data have been found: gambling at risk is 7.1% and problem and pathological gambling is 4%, when results were analyzed by SOGS-RA; prevalence of problem gambling is 10.1% and pathological gambling is 2.6% when results were analyzed by 20 GA-RA.
Conclusions. High rates of prevalence are noticed in Romania, similar to other European countries. This rates are based on self-reported questionnaires, meaning that real rates may be higher than reported, being known that children and adolescents tend to give socially expected response. An important issue is that we found pathological gambling at the age of only 11 years. Our results compared to those of other studies from Romania are very similar to those from other European countries.