Problem Gambling and Family Violence in Help-Seeking Populations: Co-occurrence, Impact and Coping (full text)

By Maria Bellringer, Katie Palmer du Preez, Janet Pearson, Nick Garrett, Jane Koziol-McLain, Denise Wilson, Max Abbott.

Four hundred and fifty-four clients of problem gambling treatment services took part in a short survey on gambling and family/whānau violence and abuse. There were 370 gamblers and 84 affected others (e.g. partners, other family members and friends). The survey took place from June 2013 to March 2015.

The purpose of the research was to identify the level of family/whānau violence and abuse in people seeking help for problem gambling, and to increase our understanding of these issues. A wide definition of family/whānau violence was used, which included physical violence and coercive control (most often thought of as violence), as well as psychological and emotional abuse (more often thought of as conflict), and sexual abuse.

Summary continues here

Bellringer, Maria, Katie Palmer du Preez, Janet Pearson, Nick Garrett, Jane Koziol-McLain, Denise Wilson, and Max Abbott. “Problem Gambling and Family Violence in Help-Seeking Populations: Co-Occurrence, Impact and Coping.” Wellington: Ministry of Health, November 4, 2016.

Examining the impact of e-mental health in problem gambling – full-text PDF

Simone Rodda, Dan Lubman, Nicki Dowling. 

This study examined people’s experiences of e-mental health options at Gambling Help Online. It looked at chat and email counselling services, forums, website information and self-help tools. It also piloted and evaluated a text messaging relapse prevention program.

The researchers surveyed 277 participants recruited through Gambling Help Online about their experiences directly after using a service (baseline) and then four and 12 weeks later.

Highlights include:

  • Online services can be effective in reducing gambling symptom severity – at baseline, almost half of participants reported severe gambling symptoms, compared with only one-fifth 12 weeks later.
  • There were better outcomes for participants using more intensive (chat or email-based) services, compared with those using website information or self-help materials.
  • At 12 weeks, only 6.5 per cent of participants had not engaged with a service or attempted self-directed change following contact with Gambling Help Online.
  • The most frequent actions taken after accessing Gambling Help Online were self-directed (93 per cent) and included reading information on the website, talking to family and friends, and attempting a self-help strategy such as limiting access to cash.
  • Providing tips and offers of help via text messages did not change gambling symptom severity, frequency of gambling or money spent gambling.
  • Users of Gambling Help Online services were more likely to be young and male than users of Gambler’s Help services.

This study helps us better understand the needs of online service users and tailor service responses accordingly. In addition, it provides tentative support for using text messaging as a post-care program. Future work might also investigate offering more intensive options online, such as video conferencing.

Attitudes towards gambling, gambling participation, and gambling-related harm: cross-sectional Finnish population studies in 2011 and 2015 – open access

Anne H. Salonen, Hannu Alho, Sari Castrén.

Background

Information about public gambling attitudes and gambling participation is crucial for the effective prevention of gambling-related harm. This study investigates female and male attitudes towards gambling, gambling participation, and gambling-related harm in the Finnish population aged 15–74.

Methods

Cross-sectional random sample data were collected in 2011 (n = 4484) and 2015 (n = 4515). The data were weighted based on gender, age and region of residence. Attitudes were measured using the Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale (ATGS-8). Gambling-related harms were studied using the Problem Gambling Severity Index and the South Oaks Gambling Screen.

Results

Attitudes towards gambling became more positive from 2011 to 2015. Female attitudes were generally negative, but nonetheless moved in a positive direction except in age groups under 25. Occasional gambling increased among women aged 18–24. Women aged 18–24 and 45–54 experienced more harms in 2015 than in 2011. Both land and online gambling increased among women aged 65–74. Male attitudes towards gambling were generally positive, and became more positive from 2011 to 2015 in all age groups except 15–17. Weekly gambling decreased among males aged 15–17. Gambling overall increased among males aged 18–24. Gambling several times a week decreased among men aged 35–44 and 45–54, and gambling 1–3 times a month increased in the latter age group. Online gambling increased only among men aged 55–64.

Conclusions

Attitudes towards gambling became more positive in all except the youngest age groups. Under-age male gambling continued to decrease. We need to make decision-makers better aware of the continuing growth of online gambling among older people and women’s increasing experiences of gambling-related harm. This is vital to ensure more effective prevention.

Problem gambling worldwide: An update and systematic review of empirical research (2000–2015) (Full text)

Filipa Calado and Mark D. Griffiths

Background and aims: Problem gambling has been identified as an emergent public health issue, and there is a need to identify gambling trends and to regularly update worldwide gambling prevalence rates. This paper aims to review recent research on adult gambling and problem gambling (since 2000) and then, in the context of a growing liberalization of the gambling market in the European Union, intends to provide a more detailed analysis of adult gambling behavior across European countries.

Methods: A systematic literature search was carried out using academic databases, Internet, and governmental websites.

Results: Following this search and utilizing exclusion criteria, 69 studies on adult gambling prevalence were identified. These studies demonstrated that there are wide variations in past-year problem gambling rates across different countries in the world (0.12–5.8%) and in Europe (0.12–3.4%). However, it is difficult to directly compare studies due to different methodological procedures, instruments, cut-offs, and time frames. Despite the variability among instruments, some consistent results with regard to demographics were found.

Discussion and conclusion: The findings highlight the need for continuous monitoring of problem gambling prevalence rates in order to examine the influence of cultural context on gambling patterns, assess the effectiveness of policies on gambling-related harms, and establish priorities for future research.

Assessing Problem Gambling: a Review of Classic and Specialized Measures (full text)

By Kyle Caler, Jose Ricardo Vargas Garcia, Lia Nower

Purpose of Review – The rapid expansion of legalized gambling opportunities over the past 20 years has generated interest in problem gambling and gambling disorder. This review will provide an overview of classic and newer instruments in the field.Recent FindingsEarly instruments in the field of gambling studies were focused exclusively on population prevalence or diagnosis of disorder. However, a growing body of research, particularly in the clinical and neurobiological areas, have led to the development of a targeted measurement instruments and increased specialization designed for screening of a gambling disorder. Newer instruments and those that with renewed clinical and research interest are focused on specific areas such as cognitive distortions, and control of urges and cravings, which are key components of sustained recovery.SummaryMeasurement in the field of problem gambling is moving away from solely measuring population prevalence and psychiatric disorder toward targeting the specific mechanisms that underlie problem gambling and barriers to recovery. Future advances in measurement will necessitate using standardized measures to assess various facets of problem gambling and adopting a holistic approach to assessing facets synergistically to identify sub-groups and inform targeted treatment strategies.

Caler, K., Garcia, J. R. V., & Nower, L. (2016). Assessing Problem Gambling: a Review of Classic and Specialized Measures. Current Addiction Reports, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-016-0118-7

Gambling Disorder, Vulnerability, and the Law: Mapping the Field (full text)

By Stacey A. Tovino

This Article seeks to descriptively map the sub-field of gambling disorder and the law and ask whether individuals with gambling disorder are vulnerable under the law. Like other scholarship that descriptively maps ethical, legal, and social implications of lesser known conditions and developments, this Article seeks to describe the treatment of individuals with gambling disorder in a variety of illustrative, but not exhaustive, legal contexts, to identify the limited scholarship assessing the application of the law to individuals with gambling disorder, and to invite members of the health law academy to bring their significant expertise to bear on these issues through traditional normative scholarship. Such work would require members of the health law academy to familiarize themselves with gambling disorder, including its prevalence, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as advances in the neuroscientific understanding of the disorder. This is intentional; that is, one of the goals of this Article is to increase awareness of gambling disorder and to encourage compassion and sympathy for affected individuals. A second goal of this Article is to revisit age-old questions about what it means to be ill and whether and how the law should accommodate individuals with particular physical and mental health conditions, including gambling disorders.

Tovino, Stacey A., “Gambling Disorder, Vulnerability, and the Law: Mapping the Field” (2016). Scholarly Works. Paper 998.
http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/facpub/998