Youth gambling is a worldwide concern, and gambling problems most commonly occur in the age group of 18-24-year-olds. Due to rapid rise of social media, the number of gambling opportunities and gambling-related online platforms have increased, making gambling and its related activities accessible 24/7. As active social media users, young people are likely to be exposed to gambling material in their online networks. In social media, it is also easy to seek for like-minded others and create communities and networks around gambling. These kinds of networks and their peer-influence may have an important role in gambling attitudes and behaviour of young people.
The aim of this project is to bring social psychological insight into the youth gambling phenomenon and its associated factors, while considering the prevailing social media context. By using cross-national YouGamble-survey data from Finland (N=1200), The United States (N=1212), Spain (N=1212) and South Korea (N=1192), the project examines youth gambling behavior and associated factors in different cultural settings.
The comprehensive survey explored gambling and problem gambling behavior, other addictions, social media usage, social relationships, well-being, and personality traits. The survey also included an experimental vignette design with gambling-related social media scenarios. The experimental design enables us to examine how young people evaluate and react to different gambling-related material in social media, and how online group processes and characteristics of received online messages affect their attitudes and behaviour.
The project aims further to investigate youth well-being and other addictive behaviors, such as compulsive Internet use, excessive alcohol use, and drug use in relation to social media use in different country contexts.
The results will provide important insight into youth gambling phenomenon and associated factors across different cultural settings. The results help to understand how social media group processes affect youth’s gambling attitudes and behavior, and how they are linked to gambling problems. The project also provides valuable new information on the different mechanisms involved in different youth addictive behaviors, which can be considered when designing new and improved interventions and preventions aiming to utilize social media and other online platforms.
The research project is a part of Tampere University Emerging Technologies Lab
The project is funded by the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies (2017-2019).