PhD Post-doctoral Fellow Hyun-Jin Jun, shown here, and Associate Dean for Research Paul Sacco are co-authors of new research titled "Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Depression, Antisocial Behavior, Alcohol Use, and Gambling during Emerging Adulthood." The work appears in the latest issue of International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. Renee M. Cunningham-Williams from Washington University in St. Louis is also a co-author.
Emerging adults show higher prevalence of harmful risk behaviors, such as alcohol use and gambling, compared to other age groups. In existing research, it appears that patterns of risk behaviors vary by gender during emerging adulthood. However, scarce research has examined gender differences in prospective relations among risk behaviors in emerging adults. This study explores gender differences in the developmental risks of depression, antisocial behavior, and alcohol use (Wave III) on gambling (Waves III and IV) in emerging adulthood in a sample of emerging adults (N = 8282) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Results showed that antisocial behavior was associated with increased risk of alcohol use. Heavy drinking in early emerging adulthood was associated with increased risk of gambling later, but depression was marginally protective of gambling. Among men, contemporaneous associations between alcohol use and heavy drinking were stronger than among women. Among women, earlier binge drinking conferred increased risk of later gambling problems, but in men negative relationships between the two were found. The results highlight the importance of ongoing efforts in early prevention and intervention for the co-occurrence of risk behaviors in emerging adulthood.