Sleczka, P., Braun, B., Grüne, B., Bühringer, G., Kraus, L.

Family functioning and gambling problems in young adulthood: the role of the concordance of values


Addiction Research and Theory, published online 21 nov, doi: 10.1080/16066359.2017.139353

Full article (with costs):

Background: Although young adult men are at an elevated risk for gambling problems (GP), compared to adolescents and adults in general this group is still largely unresearched. The current study investigates whether family functioning, which is associated with reduced risk for GP in adolescence, also affects gambling in young adults, who are more independent than minors. It analyses the relationship between GP and two core components of family functioning, the effectiveness of problem-solving in the family and perceived concordance of values. Methods: Data came from the baseline, 12- and 24-month follow-up assessments of Munich Leisure-time Study (MLS), a longitudinal online study in young male gamblers. Young men were recruited via the Munich citizens' registry (n=2,693) and Facebook invites (n=105). In total, n=173 individuals positively screened for frequent and/or regular gambling participated in the study. The hypothesised relations between problem-solving, concordance of values and GP were investigated with a path model controlling for non-planning impulsiveness and psychological distress. Results: Higher concordance of family values was significantly related to less GP in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. It mediated the relation between the effectiveness of problem-solving and GP. Conclusions: While previous studies indicated good family functioning as a factor preventive of GP, the current results indicate that this association is mediated by the perceived concordance of family values. In families with effective problem-solving, common family values might facilitate recognition of and reaction to first signs of problems. Perceived discordance may lead to feelings of shame and concealment of GP.


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