Little is known about gambling and problem/pathological gambling among minority populations in the U.S. The objectives of this study are to: 1) estimate prevalence and incidence rates of gambling and gambling problems (problem and pathological gambling) among an epidemiologic sample of African-American young adults and assess changes in the association between basic demographic characteristics and neighborhood ecological factors (neighborhood disadvantage, lifetime racism/prejudice, social competence, exposure to violence and opportunity to gamble) with gambling and gambling problems at age 21 as compared to associations found at age 17, age 19, and age 20;2) identify different trajectories of aggressive behaviors, hyperactivity and impulsivity at childhood and adolescence and test whether specific trajectories are associated with increased risk of gambling and gambling problems in young adulthood, exploring whether neighborhood factors influence these trajectories;3) identify different late-adolescent and young adult trajectories of gambling behavior;4) test whether past-year precipitating stress is associated with gambling and gambling problems in young adulthood and estimate the strength of these associations;5) assess bi-directional pathways between tobacco, alcohol, and drug involvement and psychiatric disorders with gambling and problem/pathological gambling;6) describe the evolving natural history of gambling involvement and development of gambling disorders by following the time course of clinical features associated with gambling. We use data from an ongoing longitudinal study, the second generation of a preventative intervention trial designed by the Baltimore Prevention Research Center (BPRC) at Johns Hopkins University. Logistic regression models and conditional logistic regression models will be used to address aims 1, 4 and 5. Logistic regression and general growth mixture models (GGMM) will identify different trajectories of childhood and adolescent aggressive behaviors, hyperactivity and impulsivity and test whether specific trajectories of these behaviors/disorders predict gambling problems in young- adulthood;as well as identify different gambling trajectories. Survival analysis, Latent Transition Analyses and Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) will identify distinctive features of early gambling problems that may promote earlier differentiation of who will or will not progress to clinically significant pathological gambling. This study can contribute to the development of prevention strategies that target a decrease in gambling-related problems as well as to the development of effective intervention and treatment for those who develop problems related to gambling.
The proposed research will shed light in the understanding of neighborhood ecological influences on gambling behaviors, in childhood antecedents of gambling and gambling problems, and in bi-directional pathways between gambling/gambling problems with substance use and psychiatric disorders in a sample of urban African-American adolescents and young adults.
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