Impulsivity and problem gambling: can the anticipated emotional rewards explain the relationship? (subscription access article)

Flack, M. & Buckby, B. (2018). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-018-9950-4

Gambling behaviors tend to increase in prevalence from late adolescence to young adulthood, and the underlying genetic and environmental influences during this period remain largely understudied. We examined the genetic and environmental influences on gambling behaviors contributing to stability and change from ages 18 to 25 in a longitudinal, behavioral genetic mixed-sex twin study design. Participants were enrolled in the Minnesota Twin Family Study. A range of gambling behaviors (maximum frequency, average frequency, money lost, and gambling problems) were assessed at ages 18 and 25. The results of our study support the following conclusions: (a) the genetic and environmental factors impacting a range of gambling behaviors are largely similar in men and women, (b) genetic factors increase in influence from 18 to 25 (21% at age 18 to 57% at age 25), (c) shared environmental factors are influential at age 18, but tend to decrease from ages 18 to 25 (55% at age 18 to 10% at age 25), and (d) nonshared environmental influences are similarly significant and are small to moderate in magnitude at both ages. The findings add to a small yet important research area regarding determinants of youth gambling behaviors and have the potential to inform prevention and intervention efforts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved). Article details and references

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Gauge your gambling: the acceptability and feasibility of a brief online motivational enhancement for non-treatment seeking problem gamblers (open access thesis)

By Amanda E. R. Robinson. (2018). A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies  for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Windsor.

Those who struggle to control their gambling have been shown to experience a number of adverse consequences. Despite these difficulties, only a small percentage of problematic gamblers ever seek gambling treatment or services. As technology advances there is growing evidence that brief online interventions may be efficacious with this population. The present study tested the feasibility and acceptability of a new brief online intervention for those who struggle with their gambling. The intervention was theoretically based on the Health Belief Model, the Transtheoretical Model, and
Motivational Interviewing. Participants completed a series of questionnaires about their gambling behaviours, perceived control over gambling, beliefs about their gambling problems, motivation for change and change efforts, and experienced and expected consequences of continued gambling. They also received personalized and normative comparison feedback.

The development and administration of the online intervention was inexpensive relative to in person services but did encountered several technical difficulties. In total, 204 participants provided some data. Of those who accessed the website approximately two-thirds were experiencing one or more symptoms of Gambling Disorder. Participants generally found the website acceptable, however, there was a high within-intervention attrition rate. Most participants were in the contemplation stage of change and had low perceived gambling refusal self-efficacy. Perceived severity and perceived benefits from the Health Belief Model were found to account for 76% of the variance in the intent to seek help. There was a small partial mediation effect for readiness to change on the relationship between perceived severity and the intent to seek help. There was insufficient follow-up data to support statistical analysis of outcome GAUGE YOUR GAMBLING v variables. The website attracted the target population for the most part, however, future researchers will want to consider methods of increasing engagement and follow-up in this population such as increased incentives. Participants rated the website positively and case study data at follow-up suggest that further testing of brief online interventions such as Gauge Your Gambling is warranted. Access thesis

Gambling expenditure by game type among weekly gamblers in Finland (open access article)

Anne H. Salonen, Jukka Kontto, Riku Perhoniemi, Hannu Alho and Sari Castrén. (2018). BMC Public Health 18(697). doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5613-4

Background
Excessive expenditure and financial harms are core features of problem gambling. There are various forms of gambling and their nature varies. The aim was to measure gambling expenditure by game type while controlling for demographics and other gambling participation factors. A further aim was to find out how each game type was associated with gambling expenditure when the number of game types played is adjusted for.

Conclusions
It seems that overall gambling frequency is the strongest indicator of high gambling expenditure. Our results showed that different game types had different effect sizes on gambling expenditure. Weekly gambling on horse races and non-monopoly games had the greatest increasing effect on expenditure. However, different game types also varied based on their popularity. The extent of potential harms caused by high expenditure therefore also varies on the population level. Based on our results, future prevention and harm minimization efforts should be tailored to different game types for greater effectiveness. Full article

Impacts of gambling on young Aboriginal people in Gippsland and East Gippsland: an exploratory study (online report)

Kathleen Maltzahn, Ashlee Robertson, Ann Briggs, Clare Haussegger,
Mary Whiteside and Sarah MacLean / La Trobe University; study funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF).

From this research, gambling appears widespread and popular in the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal community, including among young people. Community members identify the positive aspects of gambling, and also see the harm, including for young people and children. It is also clear that for a range of important reasons, young people and the broader community have some concerns about discussing gambling harm. However, it is apparent from this research that gambling is closely connected to other issues that services and community members are seeking to address (from drug and alcohol to mental illness to children’s welfare and poverty and deprivation), and that gambling is both a cause and a consequence of problems in these areas. Full report

The Relationship Between Exclusions from Gambling Arcades and Accessibility: Evidence from a Newly Introduced Exclusion Program in Hesse, Germany [subscription access article]

Strohäker, T. & Becker, T. (2018). Journal of Gambling Studies: doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-9762-2

Abstract: An exclusion system for gambling arcades has been introduced recently in the state of Hesse. The aim of this paper is to identify significant predictors that are useful in explaining the variation of exclusions between different Hessian communities. Next to socio-demographic factors, we control for three different accessibility variables in two models: the number of electronic gambling machines (EGMs) in model I, and the number of locations and density of gambling machines at a location in model II. We disentangle the association between EGMs and exclusions of model I into a location and a clustering effect. Considering the socio-demographic variables, the explanatory power of our cross-sectional models is rather low. Only the age group of the 30–39 years old and those who are not in a partnership (in model I) yield significant results. As self-exclusion systems reduce availability for the group of vulnerable players, this analysis provides evidence for the assumption that the two groups—pathological gamblers and vulnerable players—seem to have little overlap concerning sociodemographic characteristics. The accessibility variables, on the other hand, turn out to be significantly associated with the number of exclusions. All three of them are statistically significant and their association is positive. The results of model II show that the location effect is more pronounced then the clustering effect of EGMs, i.e. the effect of an additional single-licensed arcade on the number of exclusions is stronger than the increase in the number of license at one location. Article details and access options

Treatment for Disordered Gambling: Current Evidence and Recommendations (open access article)

Littman-Sharp, N. (2017). Gambling Research Exchange Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.greo.ca/Modules/EvidenceCentre/files/Littman-Sharp_(2017)_Treatment_for_Disordered_Gambling.pdf

Introduction
Disordered gambling treatment programming has developed rapidly in the last 20-25 years in response to the need engendered by the proliferation of legal casinos. Research on treatment effectiveness has also expanded. One of the most important elements of good clinical practice is an up to date understanding of evidence-based practices. Research can inform practitioners of new modalities, and of refinements on current modalities. It can indicate training needs, and identify cost-effective methods of treatment that make best use of available resources. Treatment research also acts as an important reminder of the need to measure clients’ progress and outcomes, and to adjust services to maximize their success.

The disordered gambling field benefits greatly from a robust exchange between clinical work and research. This paper will provide an overview of the current state of knowledge on disordered gambling treatment, and identify its gaps and limitations, particularly from the point of view of treatment providers. Researchers have evaluated a number of approaches to disordered gambling treatment. These include cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, brief interventions, self-help, mindfulness meditation, family interventions, pharmacotherapy, online interventions, treatments specialized for women, and mutual aid. There are also studies comparing modalities, or combining them – an approach that is perhaps closer to what occurs in the real world. Access full article

Are Video Games a Gateway to Gambling? A Longitudinal Study Based on a Representative Norwegian Sample [open access article]

Molde, H., Holmøy, B., Merkesdal, A.G. et al. (2018). Journal of Gambling Studies: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-9781-z

Abstract: The scope and variety of video games and monetary gambling opportunities are expanding rapidly. In many ways, these forms of entertainment are converging on digital and online video games and gambling sites. However, little is known about the relationship between video gaming and gambling. The present study explored the possibility of a directional relationship between measures of problem gaming and problem gambling, while also controlling for the influence of sex and age. In contrast to most previous investigations which are based on cross-sectional designs and non-representative samples, the present study utilized a longitudinal design conducted over 2 years (2013, 2015) and comprising 4601 participants (males 47.2%, age range 16–74) drawn from a random sample from the general population. Video gaming and gambling were assessed using the Gaming Addiction Scale for Adolescents and the Canadian Problem Gambling Index, respectively. Using an autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation model, we found a positive relationship between scores on problematic gaming and later scores on problematic gambling, whereas we found no evidence of the reverse relationship. Hence, video gaming problems appear to be a gateway behavior to problematic gambling behavior. In future research, one should continue to monitor the possible reciprocal behavioral influences between gambling and video gaming. Access full article