A meta-analytical synthesis and examination of pathological and problem gambling rates among college students and student-athletes
Nowak, Donald E.
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The problem of gambling addiction is especially noteworthy among college students and student-athletes, many of whom have the resources, proximity, free time, and desire to become involved in the myriad options of gambling now available. Although limited attention has been paid specifically to college student gambling in the body of literature, there have been three published meta-analyses estimating the prevalence of probable pathological gambling among college students. This dissertation is the largest and most comprehensive, presenting an up-to-date proportion of those students worldwide exhibiting gambling pathology as assessed by the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), and is the first to include estimates of sub-clinical problem gambling well as these same rates among college student-athletes. A thorough literature review and coding procedure resulted in 124 independent data estimates retrieved from 72 studies conducted between 1987 and the present, surveying 41,989 university students and student-athletes worldwide. The estimated proportion of probable pathological gamblers among students was computed at 6.13%, with a 6.46% rate among student-athletes. Rates of problem gambling were computed at 10.23% and 8.97% for students and student-athletes respectively. Statistical significance was found in the influence of the percentage of non-white students on some of these rates for both students and student-athletes alike. The implications of these results as well as recommendations for future practice in dealing with college students and disordered gambling on campus are outlined and described in detail for administrators, mental health professionals, counselor educators, faculty, university staff, and coaches. Suggestions and rationales for future avenues of research are also described.