Comparisons of gambling and alcohol use among college students and noncollege young people in the United States

J Am Coll Health. 2010 Mar-Apr;58(5):443-52. doi: 10.1080/07448480903540499.


Objective: Gambling and alcohol use were compared for college and noncollege young adults in the US population.

Participants: Participants were 1,000 respondents aged 18 to 21.

Methods: Data were analyzed from a representative household sample of US young people aged 14 to 21 years old. Telephone interviews were conducted between August 2005 and January 2007.

Results: After taking into account gender, age, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, college student status did not predict gambling, frequent gambling, or problem gambling. In contrast, being a college student was associated with higher levels of alcohol use and problem drinking. Being male was the strongest predictor of both problem gambling and problem drinking. Blacks were less likely than whites to drink heavily; yet they were more likely than whites to gamble heavily.

Conclusion: Young males should be targeted for prevention and intervention efforts for both problem gambling and problem drinking regardless of college student status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult