NCRG-funded Investigator Awarded Nih Grant For Research On High-risk Behaviors Among Minority Youth

Who will be the next generation of gambling researchers? The NCRG is not leaving this question to chance. Since 2004, the NCRG has funded grants specifically designed to offer new investigators the opportunity to focus on a research project under the mentorship of senior scientists. The NCRG is proud of the many accomplishments of these emerging scientists.

We’re excited that the first recipient of an NCRG new investigator grant,Silvia Martins, M.D., Ph.D., has been awarded a $656,465 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to continue her work on “Predictors of High-Risk Behaviors Among Youth.” Dr. Martins is now associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Martins’s five-year NIH grant will collect new information about gambling behaviors and gambling disorder in a high-risk population of 1,100 youth/young adults from two population-based samples of Puerto Ricans (ages 17-25) from two sites, the South Bronx, NYC, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The specific aims of this study include:

  • Estimate the prevalence (past year and past three-month) of any gambling, frequent gambling and severity of gambling disorder during late adolescence/early adulthood;
  • Observe changes in the patterns of gambling and severity of gambling disorder over a two-year period when gambling behaviors are known to be undergoing the most changes;
  • Determine the characteristics of individuals who gamble;
  • Examine developmental disordered gambling pathways from childhood to young adulthood; and
  • Understand how gambling disorders are related to other risk behaviors that are also shaped during late adolescence/young adulthood. Dr. Martins will do this by determining different risk behavior clusters involving disordered gambling, HIV/STD risk behaviors, school drop-out and antisocial behaviors.

This project will address the need for research on gambling among minority populations, as well as the need for longitudinal data and a model that integrates an array of risk and associated factors. By focusing on Puerto Ricans living in two settings, Dr. Martins and colleagues will be able to examine the important role of environment in the development of gambling disorders in an ethnically homogeneous group.

The NCRG congratulates Dr. Martins for continuing to study disordered gambling among minority youth and for leveraging new monies for gambling research!

NCRG staffResearch UpdategamblinggrantsNational Institutes of Healthresearch