Kids who were inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive in kindergarten, are more likely to develop symptoms of risky gambling behavior by the time they reach middle school, reports a new Canadian study in the latest issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Impulsiveness has always been associated with many problems, such as delinquency, expulsion from school, substance abuse, anti-social behavior, unemployment, addiction problems in adulthood and now there is another issue that has been added to the list, the researchers said. There is something that connects both the impulsivity and the gambling, said main author Dr. Linda S. Pagani, a professor at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center and the University of Montreal. "In adulthood, problem gambling is considered an impulse disorder," she added.The children in the study were not children with any kind of a learning problem, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Pagani said. All of them were typically developing kids. The expert said that nearly 15 per cent of all kids have problems with impulsiveness, particularly boys, and suggested that the best way to avoid future problems is to improve their attention at an early age. Detecting as soon as possible as to which kids are headed for trouble can be beneficial in many ways. When kids are very young, they can be taught "effortful control," in which case a child makes an effort to focus and concentrate , Pagani said. "We can eliminate attention problems by the use of intervention programs that help children develop attention," she said. "If we can improve their attention by one unit, then we can improve their outcomes by 25 per cent."
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