Youngsters who receive instant lottery tickets as gifts tend to start gambling earlier in life, perhaps putting them at risk for gambling disorders as adults, Yale researchers reported on Sept. 19 in the journal Adolescent Health.
A survey of about 2,000 Connecticut high school students found that children and adolescents who received scratch lottery tickets tend to have more permissive attitudes about gambling than those who did not receive such gifts. Researchers also reported an association between the age of gambling onset and the severity of problem gambling among those who received lottery tickets.
“Our research suggests that family members and friends should consider the possible negative impact of giving children or adolescents lottery tickets as gifts,” said Marc Potenza, Ph.D. ’93, M.D. ’94, HS ’98, FW ’99, professor of psychiatry, neurobiology and child study, and senior author of the research.