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Health Promot Int. 2005 Mar;20(1):69-79. Epub 2005 Jan 28.

Youth gambling problems: a public health perspective.

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International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors, McGill University, 3724 McTavish Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1Y2.


Problem gambling has recently emerged as a significant public health issue. While most efforts target adult pathological gamblers, there is growing concern that adolescents and young adults represent the highest risk group for gambling problems. Prevailing public health initiatives addressing youth problem gambling are only beginning to be examined. Drawing upon the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion as a guiding framework, a prevention model and framework for action are presented to better understand and address problem gambling from a population-based perspective. This framework applies denormalization, protection, prevention, and harm-reduction principles to youth gambling problems and describes primary, secondary and tertiary prevention objectives. A foundation for the development, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive, multi-level health promotion and prevention strategies for youth problem gambling is provided.

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