Did you know that 90% of adolescents under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) have engaged in gambling behaviour at least once in their lives?
That one out of five members of this subgroup gambles on a weekly basis and that one out of four is at risk of developing a gambling problem? The number of young offenders with gambling problems is significantly higher than that of youth under the Youth Protection Act (YPA) or high school teenagers, both of which populations show problem gambling at a rate of about 6%.
The results highlight the importance of creating a prevention program targeting adolescents followed under the YCJA.
Despite these high percentages, the majority of youth under the YPA or the YCJA perceive that their time spent in youth protection centers has little impact on their gambling habits.
These results highlight the importance of creating a prevention program targeting adolescents followed under the YCJA. Systematic assessment of the gambling habits of these young people as they enter youth protection centres would favour early detection of gambling problems and allow intervention before there is an accumulation of negative consequences.
An evaluation of the effectiveness of these measures could also help to determine whether this approach would be suitable for adolescents followed under the YPA, who would also benefit from a targeted gambling prevention program.
Cathy Savard, Université Laval
Deposit of the thesis: July 2012