Perceptions of and exposure to games of chance, gambling, and video gaming: Self-reports of preadolescents and parents

Bieke Zaman*, Maarten Van Mechelen, Rozane De Cock, Jonathan Huyghe

*Corresponding author for this work

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Although gambling-related behavior develops in preadolescence, there is a scarcity of research into the early socialization processes in this specific age cohort. For this study, preadolescents’ early perceptions of and practices relating to games of chance, gambling, and video gaming were explored. To account for the perspectives of preadolescents and their parents, we administered semi-structured in-depth interviews with elicitation prompts to 10 Flemish (i.e., Belgian) families with 11-to 12-year-olds. The findings show that different socialization dynamics are at play for the examined media genres. Families were relaxed about young people’s involvement in traditional games of chance activities in a familiar context, pointing to early socialization and cultural normalization dynamics in preadolescents who have not yet reached the legal minimum age. Moreover, the parents were not fully aware of the first gambling and games of chance activities of the preadolescents or of some of their in-game micropayments. They did not yet consider active mediation on these matters to be relevant. Because of this, preventive parental mediation efforts cannot reach their full potential; we call upon future researchers to explore ludo literacy programs that can increase the resilience of young players in a world of increasingly converged media entertainment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Gambling Issues
Pages (from-to)242-278
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Convergence
  • Gambling
  • Games of chance
  • Parental mediation
  • Preadolescents
  • Video games
  • CCTD
  • #CCTD


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