Overall given how few variables were exclusively

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substance use. Overall, given how few variables were exclusively associated with gambling either directly or indirectly, the present findings illustrate the preponderance of overlap between the risk factors for gambling with those for substance use. In general, the results expand our understanding of the independent and overlapping relationships of several risk factors with substance use and gambling. Results support the notion that the association between gambling and substance use is partially attributable to shared variance in certain risk factors (sex, race/ethnicity, sensation-seeking, behavioral dysregulation). Still other risk factors (childhood conduct problems, anxiety, family history) exhibited more specificity in relation to substance use, in that they were not independently associated with gambling after accounting for all the other effects in our models. Interestingly, both of the extracurricular involvement variables (Greek, athletics) accounted for distinct, non-overlapping variance in both gambling and alcohol-related variables—suggesting the possible existence of separate underlying mechanisms—in addition to some shared variance between gambling and less prevalent types of substance use behavior. 4.4. Limitations
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21     The study is limited by the cross-sectional nature of the relationships between the gambling and substance use variables. Also, we did not account for possible changes in risk factors during college. Future research analyzing such relationships prospectively is needed to understand any underlying temporality, such as whether or not gambling behaviors might play a role in the persistence of substance use during the post-college period. To aid in the identification of treatment targets, future studies could focus on assessing underlying processes such as delay discounting, which has been shown in prior studies to be related to problem gambling (Steward et al., 2017). Moreover, our sample size was not sufficient to assess the differential associations between separate gambling activities and substance use. Findings might not be comparable with other studies of college students, as the majority of the subjects in this study had graduated from college at the time of follow-up. Given that students were sampled from a single university, results might not be generalizable to students attending other types of institutions (e.g., small private colleges). Despite the large number of risk factors assessed, data were not available on some potentially important variables found to be significant in prior studies, such as parents’ history of gambling problems or competitive personality (Burger et al., 2006; King et al., 2010; Weinstock et al., 2008; Wickwire et al., 2008; Winters et al., 1998). Given the slight underrepresentation of men in our analytic sample, coupled with the finding that men gambled more frequently than women, it is likely that our results might have underestimated the extent of gambling in the target population.
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  • Fall '17
  • Amelia M. Arria

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