Prevalence and Correlates of Gambling Problems Among a Nationally Representative Sample of Brazilian Adolescents

Daniel Tornaim Spritzer, Luis Augusto Rohde, Daniela Bumaguin Benzano, Ronaldo Ramos Laranjeira, Ilana Pinsky, Marcos Zaleski, Raul Caetano, Hermano Tavares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The objectives of the study are: (a) to provide the first prevalence estimates of pathological gambling among Brazilian adolescents using an age-specific instrument in a nationally representative sample; (b) to investigate the extent to which adolescents participate in gambling activities in a developing country; and (c) to correlate different levels of gambling behavior with demographic variables. Multistage cluster sampling selected 3,007 individuals over 14 years of age from Brazilian household population. A total of 661 participants were between 14 and 17 years old. The Lie/Bet Questionnaire and the DSM-IV-MR-J were used for assessing problem and pathological gambling. 2.8% scored positive on the screening questionnaire, while 1.6% were classified as problem and pathological gamblers. Factors associated with problem and pathological gambling were male sex, not currently studying and considering religion as not important. Less than 4 months elapsed between the age of regular gambling involvement and the first gambling problem. Prevalence rates were quite similar from recent studies which used nationally representative samples. The association of problem and pathological gambling with male sex, school drop-out and low religiosity supports the Problem Behavior Theory. The fast progression to problem gambling adds evidence that adolescents may be more vulnerable to the effects of gambling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-661
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Adolescent
  • Correlates
  • Gambling
  • Prevalence
  • Problem gambling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)


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