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Is Your 3-Year-Old a Gambler?

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"The children with undercontrolled temperament were more than twice as likely to gamble."

E-Trade might sell its products using the quaint concept of an infant playing the stock market, but according to a new study, it might be that children not that much older than infants can easily be pre-identified as the type of child to play the slots. In fact, it only takes three years for the pattern to form.

Business Insider caught the news of this interesting study on childhood development:

University of Missouri's Wendy Slutske and colleagues used data from a 30-year long study observing 939 individuals. Using 22 behavioral descriptors, the participating toddlers were separated into five temperament groups: undercontrolled (10.4%), inhibited (7.8%), confident (27.5%), reserved (14.8%), and well-adjusted (39.6%).

The children with undercontrolled temperament were more than twice as likely to gamble when 21 and 32 than other groups. These potential gamblers were described as restless, willful, impulsive, emotionally labile, impersistent, having fleeting attention, having expressed negativism, and withdrawing from tasks.

The report reasoned: "Perhaps it is the combination of impulsivity (or risk taking) in conjunction with the tendency toward negative emotions, such as anger, hostility, and anxiety, that constitutes the personality vulnerability for disordered gambling."

Got that? It's not just the Terrible Two's. In fact, it's more likely to be the Terrible Snake Eyes.

The study also includes a graph that maps the correlation between angry or impulsive children and gambling addicted adults. See what you make of it here:

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