Differences in parental attitudes and tolerance of child exposure to and participation in gambling, alcohol and nicotine use

Charlotte Hood, Adrian Parke

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This study investigated parental attitudes toward child exposure to alcohol, nicotine (smoking tobacco) and gambling, via a questionnaire that examined parental tolerance with regard to hypothetical scenarios of exposure and participation, alongside perceptions of the importance of associated health promotion for each activity. It was hypothesised that parents would indicate significantly less tolerance of, and rate health promotion activity of greater importance for, nicotine and alcohol in comparison to gambling. Results from a sample of 500 UK based parents, showed significantly less tolerance for nicotine versus alcohol and gambling in all hypothetical scenarios of exposure and direct participation. Parents also reported significantly less tolerance surrounding child consumption of alcohol than gambling. Health promotion activity surrounding nicotine was rated significantly more important than that of alcohol and gambling. It is argued that greater parental concern surrounding nicotine was attributable to increased availability of knowledge surrounding associated risks of smoking behaviour within existing regulation and health promotion activity. Arguments are made for increased public awareness of the potential harms that may be associated with gambling behaviour, which may assist parents in making informed decisions regarding their children’s exposure to and participation in gambling-related activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-505
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number4
Early online date21 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gambling
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Attitudes
  • Exposure
  • Parental

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