The Pathways Model as harm minimization for youth gamblers in educational settings

Lia Nower, Alex Blaszczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Prevalence studies have indicated that a significant percentage of school-age youth exhibit problem or pathological gambling behaviors. However, to date there are few guidelines to assist educators in identifying those at risk and incorporating harm-reduction strategies into school curricula. This paper proposes using the Pathways Model of pathological gambling (Blaszczynski, 1998; Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002) as a harm-minimization strategy to guide social workers and other educators in effectively assessing, discriminating, and managing discrete subgroups of youth problem gamblers in educational settings and referring them to appropriate services. The Pathways Model asserts that a multiple range of specific psychological, biological, and socio-ecological variables interact at differential levels to form three distinct routes leading to the manifestation of superficially similar phenomenological characteristics and symptoms. It is argued that an understanding of the relevance and psychological implications of each separate pathway will greatly assist in the application of early intervention and prevention strategies, designed to effectively minimize the potential harm associated with youth problem gambling behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-45
Number of pages21
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Educational Settings
  • Harm Minimization
  • The Pathways Model
  • Youth Gamblers


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