Methods: Participants were 2,301 Connecticut high-school adolescents. Chi-square and logistic regression models were conducted.
Results: Weapon-carriers reported greater problem-gambling severity, more permissive gambling perceptions, greater parental approval of gambling, and more concerning levels of family gambling, compared to non-weapon-carriers. Interactions between problem-gambling severity and weapon-carrying status were found in gambling partners and types of gambling. At-risk/problem-gambling was more strongly associated with having family, peers and adult gambling partners among non-weapon-carriers (versus weapon-carriers); and with having unfamiliar gambling partners, solitary gambling, and machine gambling among weapon-carriers (versus non-weapon-carriers).
Conclusions: Greater problem-gambling severity and more permissive gambling perceptions and perceived parental approval of gambling in weapon-carrying adolescents suggest that parent-child relationships are important to consider in prevention efforts. The moderated relationship by weapon-carrying status between problem-gambling severity and gambling partners suggests a problem-gambling risk group that may be less linked to gambling with traditional social support groups and more associated with asocial gambling behaviors. This group may benefit from targeted interventions that bolster social development and social support.