Vol. 5, Issue 1

Xie, H. (2021). Gambling away your future: SISA traits as indicators of susceptibility to problem gambling amongst adolescents. The Young Researcher, 5(1), 220-265. 

According to the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, 6.9% of Canadian secondary students met the criteria for low-to-moderate problem gambling in 2017, demonstrating a high rate of adolescent problem gambling (Boak et al., 2018, p. 115). Furthermore, very few indicators of problem gambling exist that do not require direct gambling behavior data, so developing a reliable indirect assessment of problem gambling susceptibility may be extremely effective in addressing teenage problem gambling (American Psychiatric Association, 2020; Dragicevic et al., 2011). Consequently, this matched comparison quasi-experimental study focused on determining methods of early identification for adolescents who may be more susceptible to developing problem gambling tendencies. The study was conducted with 52 students aged 14-18 and used a series of questionnaires and a probability-based game to determine the relationship between specific traits—namely self-control, impulsivity, sensation-seeking, and affluence (SISA traits), and susceptibility to problem gambling amongst high school students in Ontario, Canada. The findings were indicative that students with low self-control, high impulsivity, and high sensation-seeking (mean score of 3.65) scored higher in terms of susceptibility to problem gambling compared to those with high selfcontrol, low impulsivity, and low sensation-seeking (mean score of 2.64), with a maximum score of 6 representing extremely high susceptibility to problem gambling. Although the affluence trait had little influence on susceptibility to problem gambling, certain problematic spending habits were found to be positively correlated to higher susceptibility to problem gambling. Thus, the study concluded that the SISA traits are accurate indicators of susceptibility to problem gambling amongst Ontarian adolescents and may be applicable in problem gambling prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation programs to increase effectiveness.

Keywords: adolescent problem gambling, probability-based games, gambling prevention, indicators of susceptibility to problem gambling

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ISSN 2560-9815 (Print)
ISSN 2560-9823 (Online)

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