The Dunedin Study - DMHDRU


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Disordered gambling in a longitudinal birth cohort: From childhood precursors to adult life outcomes | 2022
Slutske, W.S., Richmond-Rakerd, L.S., Piasecki, ... Show all » T.M., Ramrahka, S., Poulton, R., Moffitt, T.E., Caspi, A « Hide
Psychological Medicine, 2022, . 10.1017/S0033291722003051
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Show abstract » Background. Despite its introduction into the diagnostic nomenclature over four decades ago, there remain large knowledge gaps about disordered gambling. The primary aims of the present study were to document the long-term course, childhood precursors, and adult life outcomes associated with disordered gambling. Methods. Participants enrolled in the population-representative Dunedin Study were prospectively followed from birth through age 45. Disordered gambling was assessed six times from age 18; composite measures of childhood social class, general intelligence, and low self-control were based on assessments obtained from birth through age 15; adult socioeconomic, financial, and legal outcomes were obtained through age 45. Lifetime disordered gambling was predicted from the three childhood precursors and the adult outcomes were predicted from lifetime disordered gambling. Results. Past-year disordered gambling usually occurred at only a single time point and recurrence was relatively uncommon. Lower childhood social class, general intelligence, and self-control significantly predicted lifetime disordered gambling in adulthood. In turn, lifetime disordered gambling in adulthood significantly predicted occupational, educational, and financial problems in adulthood (ds =0.23–0.41). These associations were markedly reduced and sometimes rendered nonsignificant after adjusting for childhood precursors (ds =0.04–0.32). Conclusions. Socioeconomic, financial, and legal outcomes in adulthood are not merely consequences of disordered gambling, but also are predicted from childhood precursors. Deflecting the trajectories of young people at risk for developing disordered gambling may help to ameliorate not just the development of later disordered gambling, but also other associated adverse outcomes.
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