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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

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Participation and attitudes towards gambling in Ghanaian youth: an exploratory analysis of risk and protective factors

Franklin N. Glozah
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
  • School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex, Colchester, UK
  • Email
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/ Barry Tolchard
  • School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex, Colchester, UK
  • Department of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
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/ David J. Pevalin
  • Department of Sociology and the School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex, Colchester, UK
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Published Online: 2019-03-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0175



There is little information on youth gambling in Ghana even though there is an unprecedented emergence of various types of gambling and gambling venues throughout the country. The aim of this cross-sectional exploratory study was to examine the role of perceived social difficulties and perceived protective social factors in participation and attitudes of Ghanaian youth towards gambling using data from a school-based survey (n = 770).


Participants completed measures on perceived social difficulties, perceived protective social factors, attitudes towards gambling and participation in four types of gambling.


Sports betting was the most common form of gambling. There were significant differences in gambling participation with males gambling more than females. Youth who reported more perceived social difficulties from family and friends had a more positive attitude and a negative attitude towards gambling, respectively. Youth who reported higher protective social factors from family and teachers were less likely to have a negative attitude towards gambling. In all situations, high frequency gambling resulted in a more positive attitude towards gambling.


Perceived social difficulties influences Ghanaian youths to have a positive attitude towards gambling, however, protective social factors from family and teachers may help youth to have a negative attitude towards gambling, gamble less and consequently achieve academic success.

Keywords: gambling participation; Ghana; perceived social difficulties; perceived social protection; problem gambling; youth


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About the article

Received: 2018-08-02

Accepted: 2018-09-30

Published Online: 2019-03-06

Conflicts of interest: All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180175, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0175.

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