The role of online group norms and social identity in youth problem gambling

Iina Savolainen, Atte Oksanen, Markus Kaakinen, Anu Sirola, Izabela Zych, Hye Jin Paek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


The Internet and technologies have increased gambling opportunities globally, normalizing gambling among young individuals. Youth are active Internet users and susceptible to group norms, but little is known about group behavior and norms in online interaction. This study examined if following perceived majority opinions about gambling content (i.e., gambling norms) in online interaction is associated with youth problem gambling. Participants were 15–25-year-old youths in Finland (n = 1200; 50% female), South Korea (n = 1192; 50.42% female), Spain (n = 1212; 48.76% female), and the United States (n = 1212; 50.17% female). The participants took an online survey including a vignette experiment. In the vignette experiment, half of the participants were assigned to an in-group condition. The participants saw simulated gambling-themed social media messages with manipulated majority reactions. Norm conformity online was assessed using a within-person calculation. Norm conformity online was associated with youth problem gambling in all countries. In South Korea, this association was moderated by in-group norm source. The results indicate that young people who engage in problematic gambling may be more susceptible to conforming to perceived gambling norms online, but cultural differences exist. Intervention strategies should utilize educative online programs providing young problem gamblers accurate information about gambling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106828
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Online groups
  • Online interaction
  • Problem gambling
  • Social identity
  • Social norms
  • Youth

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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