Jacob, L., Haro, J. M., & and Koyanagi, A. (2018). Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 7(3), 781–791. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.72
Background and aims: Our goal was to examine the association between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and gambling problems, and to identify potential mediating factors of this association. Methods: This study used cross-sectional, community-based data from 7,403 people aged ≥16 years who participated in the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. ADHD symptoms were assessed using the Adult DHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Screener. Problem gambling was assessed using a questionnaire based on the 10 DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling. Respondents were classified as having no problem, at-risk, or problem gambling. Logistic regression and mediation analyses were conducted to analyze the association between ADHD symptoms (i.e., ASRS score ≥14) and problem gambling and the role of several variables in this association. Results: The prevalence of at-risk (5.3% vs. 2.4%) and problem gambling (2.4% vs. 0.6%) was higher in individuals with ADHD symptoms than in those without ADHD symptoms. ADHD symptoms were significantly associated with both at-risk (OR = 2.15; 95% CI = 1.22–3.79) and problem gambling (OR = 3.57; 95% CI = 1.53–8.31) when adjusted for age, sex, and ethnicity. Common mental disorders (CMDs; i.e., depression and anxiety disorders) (mediated percentage = 22.4%), borderline personality disorder (BPD) traits (22.1%), stressful life events (13.2%), stress at work or home (12.6%), alcohol dependence (11.8%), and impulsivity (11.2%) were significant mediators in the ADHD–gambling association. Discussion and conclusions: Overall, ADHD symptoms were positively associated with problem gambling. CMDs, BPD traits, and stressful life events were important mediators in this relationship. Access full article
Zendle, D., & Cairns, P. (2018). Loot box spending in video games is linked to problem gambling severity. doi: https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/u5dmr
Abstract: Loot boxes are items in video games that contain randomised contents and can be purchased with real-world money. Similarities between loot boxes and forms of gambling have led to questions about their legal status, and whether they should be regulated as gambling. A large-scale survey of gamers (n=1,174) found evidence for a link (η2 = 0.047) between the amount that gamers spent on loot boxes and the severity of their problem gambling. The more participants spent on loot boxes, the worse their problem gambling was. Previous research has strongly suggested both the size and the direction of link between loot box use and problem gambling. This paper confirms such a link’s existence. These results suggest either that loot boxes act as a gateway to problem gambling, or that individuals with gambling problems are drawn to spend more on loot boxes. In either case, we believe that these results suggest there is good reason to regulate loot boxes. Access full article
Gavriel-Fried, B. (2018). Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 7(3), 792–799. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.82
Background and aims: The concept of recovery capital (RC) describes the internal and external resources that individuals draw upon to initiate and sustain the processes of addiction recovery. This concept has been primarily applied to individuals recovering from substance addictions. In this study, the RC concept was applied to individuals
with a gambling disorder (GD) to test its associations with the diagnosis and severity of GD and with levels of psychopathology as manifested in depression and anxiety. Methods: A sample of 140 individuals who recovered or did not recover from a GD was drawn from lists of former and currently treated individuals in five gambling treatment centers in Israel. The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for GD, Assessment of Recovery Capital and Brief Assessment of Recovery Capital Scales adapted to Gambling, Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, and the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 which measures depression were used. Results: RC clearly distinguishes between individuals who have recovered from GD and those who have not. A structural equation model showed significant negative associations between RC and GD severity, depression, and generalized anxiety. The associations between GD severity and depression and anxiety were not significant. However, when omitting the path between RC and depression/anxiety, the associations between GD and depression/anxiety became significant. Conclusions: RC plays an important role in GD severity and diagnosis, as well as in psychopathology. This study extends the concept of RC to the area of gambling and contributes to the growing body of studies that have found parallels and common denominators between substance addiction and behavioral addictions. Access full article. Access full article
Dowling, N., Ewin, C., Youssef, G., Merkouris, S., Suomi, A., Thomas, S., & Jackson, A. (2018). Journal of Behavioral Addictions. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.74
Background and aims: Few studies have investigated the association between problem gambling (PG) and violence extending into the family beyond intimate partners. This study aimed to explore the association between PG and family violence (FV) in a population-representative sample. It was hypothesized that: (a) PG would be positively associated with FV, even after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and comorbidities and (b) these relationships would be significantly exacerbated by substance use and psychological distress. A secondary aim was to explore whether gender moderated these relationships. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted with a population-representative sample of 4,153 Australian adults.
Results: Moderate-risk (MR)/problem gamblers had a 2.73-fold increase in the odds of experiencing FV victimization (21.3%; 95% CI: 13.1–29.4) relative to nonproblem gamblers (9.4%; 95% CI: 8.5–10.4). They also had a 2.56-fold increase in the odds of experiencing FV perpetration (19.7%; 95% CI: 11.8–27.7) relative to non-problem gamblers (9.0%; 95% CI: 8.0–10.0). Low-risk gamblers also had over a twofold increase in the odds of experiencing FV victimization (20.0%; 95% CI: 14.0–26.0) and perpetration (19.3%; 95% CI: 13.5–25.1). These relationships remained robust for low-risk gamblers, but were attenuated for MR/problem gamblers, after adjustment for substance use and psychological distress. MR/problem gamblers had a greater probability of FV victimization, if they reported hazardous alcohol use; and low-risk gamblers had a greater probability of FV perpetration if they were female. Discussion and conclusion: These findings provide further support for routine screening, highlight the need for prevention and intervention programs, and suggest that reducing alcohol use may be important in these efforts. Access full article
MacLean, S., Thomas, D., Atkinson, A., Griffin, T., Vaughan, R., Stephens, R., … Whiteside, M. (2018, August). Paper presented at the meeting of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Geelong, Australia.
- Background: In 2017/8 MDAS [Mallee District Aboriginal Services] and GEGAC [Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal CoOperative] commissioned La Trobe to collaborate on two separate studies of gambling and how communities could respond. Together we wrote two reports, one with GEGAC investigating issues for young people and one with MDAS focused on all age groups.
- In collaboration with MDAS staff we wrote an article on bingo that drew on the MDAS findings (Maltzahn et al, 2018)
- Today we report on findings across both studies. View presentation online