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Prevalence and types of video gaming and gambling activities among adolescent public school students: findings from a cross-sectional study in Italy

  • Cena, Loredana
  • Rota, Matteo
  • Calza, Stefano
  • Trainini, Alice
  • Zecca, Sara
  • Zappa, Sofia Bonetti
  • Nodari, Luisa Silvia
  • Stefana, Alberto
Published Article
Italian Journal of Pediatrics
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jun 25, 2022
DOI: 10.1186/s13052-022-01299-2
PMID: 35752819
PMCID: PMC9233831
PubMed Central
  • Letter to the Editor


Adolescence is characterized by emotional instability and risk-taking behaviours that can lead to, among other things, an increased risk of developing pathological video-gaming and gambling habits. The aim of this Study is to assess the prevalence and type of video gaming and gambling habits in adolescent students attending Italian upper-secondary schools. The cross-sectional study was conducted via an online survey using validated questionnaires. The primary outcome measures were the prevalence of past-year video gaming and gambling activities. The sample consisted of 502 adolescent students from first- and second-grade secondary schools. A total of 40.8% of participants were video gamers, 4.8% were gamblers, 17.8% were both video gamers and gamblers, and the remaining 36.6% were not players. Among participants who reported video gaming activity ( n = 294), 68.0% were classified as nonproblem gamers, 24.5% as at-risk gamers, and 7.5% as disordered video gamers. Among the participants who reported gambling activity ( n = 113), 85.8% were not problematic gamblers, 8.9% were at-risk gamblers, and 5.3% were pathological gamblers. Only 0.2% of all subjects met the criteria for both pathological gambling and pathological video game use. The findings indicate that video gaming and gambling are common leisure times among adolescent students. However, a small but significant minority of these adolescents met the criteria for either severe problem gaming or gambling or both.

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