Gambling and other risk behaviors on university campuses

J Am Coll Health. 2004 May-Jun;52(6):245-55. doi: 10.3200/JACH.52.6.245-256.


To examine the prevalence of problem gambling and its relationship to other risk-taking behaviors, the authors surveyed 1,350 undergraduates at the 4 campuses of Connecticut State University (CSU) during fall 2000. On the basis of a modified version of the South Oaks Gambling Screen, a widely used screening instrument, they found that 18% of the men and 4% of the women reported that gambling had led to at least 3 negative life consequences (eg, felt guilty, gambled more than intended), commonly defined as problem gambling. Students identified as problem gamblers, compared with other students, were significantly more likely to be heavy drinkers, report negative consequences of alcohol consumption, and be regular tobacco and marijuana users. Problem gambling was related to binge eating and greater use of weight-control efforts. University athletes were also found to have significantly greater problem gambling rates than nonathletes. The majority of students gambled but experienced few of the negative consequences reported by problem gamblers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Distribution
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities