How Science Is Unlocking the Secrets of Addiction (magazine article)

By Aguilera-Hellweg, M.

Abstract: We’re learning more about the craving that fuels self-defeating habits—and how new discoveries can help us kick the habit.

Aguilera-Hellweg, M. (2017, August 22). How Science Is Unlocking the Secrets of Addiction. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/the-addicted-brain/

 

Advertisements

Exploring gambling craving through the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of desire: A mixed methods approach (full text)

By Cornil, A., Lopez-Fernandez, O., Devos, G., Timary, P., Goudriaan, A., & Billieux, J.

Abstract: Gambling disorder is a well-established behavioural addiction, which was classified with substance-related disorders in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Although craving was introduced as a new diagnostic criterion for substance-related disorders, it was not included for gambling disorder. This study aimed to explore the experience of gambling craving and to evaluate whether the elaborated intrusion theory of desire (EIT), a cognitive model of craving, fits gambling craving. A mixed methods study was conducted among 31 non-clinical gamblers. The qualitative part consisted of open-ended questions targeting the components of the EIT. The quantitative part consisted of a questionnaire designed to assess triggers and descriptions of gambling craving. Qualitative analysis revealed six distinct conceptual categories related to gambling craving: positive and negative affect, external cues, mental imageries, thoughts and physiological sensations. The quantitative analysis highlighted the most relevant triggers (e.g., spontaneous thoughts) and experiential characteristics (e.g., visual imagery) of gambling craving. The present study allowed us to support the relevance of the EIT as it applies to gambling craving by disentangling its core features. Findings from this study suggest that the use of interventions derived from the EIT may be relevant for problem gambling treatment.

Cornil, A., Lopez-Fernandez, O., Devos, G., Timary, P., Goudriaan, A., & Billieux, J. (2017). Exploring gambling craving through the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of desire: A mixed methods approach. International Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2017.1368686

 

The intergenerational transmission of at-risk/problem gambling: The moderating role of parenting practices

By Dowling, N. A., Shandley, K. A., Oldenhof, E., Affleck, J. M., Youssef, G. J., Frydenberg, E., … Jackson, A. C.

Abstract: Background and Objectives

Although parenting practices are articulated as underlying mechanisms or protective factors in several theoretical models, their role in the intergenerational transmission of gambling problems has received limited research attention. This study therefore examined the degree to which parenting practices (positive parenting, parental involvement, and inconsistent discipline) moderated the intergenerational transmission of paternal and maternal problem gambling.

Methods

Students aged 12–18 years (N = 612) recruited from 17 Australian secondary schools completed a survey measuring parental problem gambling, problem gambling severity, and parenting practices.

Results

Participants endorsing paternal problem gambling (23.3%) were 4.3 times more likely to be classified as at-risk/problem gamblers than their peers (5.4%). Participants endorsing maternal problem gambling (6.9%) were no more likely than their peers (4.0%) to be classified as at-risk/problem gamblers. Paternal problem gambling was a significant predictor of offspring at-risk/problem gambling after controlling for maternal problem gambling and participant demographic characteristics. The relationship between maternal problem gambling and offspring at-risk/problem gambling was buffered by parental involvement.

Discussion and Conclusions

Paternal problem gambling may be important in the development of adolescent at-risk/problem gambling behaviours and higher levels of parental involvement buffers the influence of maternal problem gambling in the development of offspring gambling problems. Further research is therefore required to identify factors that attenuate the seemingly greater risk of transmission associated with paternal gambling problems.

Scientific Significance

Parental involvement is a potential candidate for prevention and intervention efforts designed to reduce the intergenerational transmission of gambling problems. (Am J Addict 2017;XX:1–6)

Dowling, N. A., Shandley, K. A., Oldenhof, E., Affleck, J. M., Youssef, G. J., Frydenberg, E., … Jackson, A. C. (n.d.). The intergenerational transmission of at-risk/problem gambling: The moderating role of parenting practices. The American Journal on Addictions, n/a-n/a. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajad.12599

 

Negative Mood States or Dysfunctional Cognitions: Their Independent and Interactional Effects in Influencing Severity of Gambling Among Chinese Problem Gamblers in Hong Kong

By Wong, D. F. K., Zhuang, X. Y., Jackson, A., Dowling, N., & Lo, H. H. M.

Abstract: Gambling-related cognitions and negative psychological states have been proposed as major factors in the initiation and maintenance of problem gambling (PG). While there are a substantial number of studies supporting the role of cognitive dysfunctions in the initiation and maintenance of PG, very few empirical studies have explored the specific role of negative psychological states in influencing PG behaviours. In addition, very few studies have examined the interaction effects of cognitive dysfunctions and negative psychological states in exerting influence on PG behaviours. Therefore, the present study aims to examine the main and interaction effects of gambling-related cognitions and psychological states on the gambling severity among a group of problem gamblers in Hong Kong. A cross-sectional research design was adopted. A purposive sample of 177 problem gamblers who sought treatment from a social service organization in Hong Kong completed a battery of standardised questionnaires. While gambling-related cognitions were found to exert significant effects on gambling severity, negative psychological states (i.e. stress) significantly moderated the relationship between gambling cognitions and gambling severity. In essence, those participants who reported a higher level of stress had more stable and serious gambling problems than those who reported a lower level of stress irrespective of the level of gambling-related cognitions. The findings of the moderating role of negative emotions in the relationship between cognitive distortions and severity of gambling provide insight towards developing an integrated intervention model which includes both cognitive-behavioural and emotion regulation strategies in helping people with PG.

Wong, D. F. K., Zhuang, X. Y., Jackson, A., Dowling, N., & Lo, H. H. M. (2017). Negative Mood States or Dysfunctional Cognitions: Their Independent and Interactional Effects in Influencing Severity of Gambling Among Chinese Problem Gamblers in Hong Kong. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-017-9714-2

 

A process evaluation of the “Aware” and “Supportive Communities” gambling harm-minimisation programmes in New Zealand

By Kolandai-Matchett, K., Bellringer, M., Landon, J., & Abbott, M.

Abstract: Background: The Gambling Act 2003 mandated a public health strategy for preventing and minimising gambling harm in New Zealand. Aware Communities and Supportive Communities are two public health programmes subsequently implemented nationwide. These programmes differed from common health promotion initiatives such as media or education campaigns as they were community-action based (requiring community involvement in programme planning and delivery). We carried out a process evaluation to determine their implementation effectiveness and inform improvement and future programme planning.Methods: Our qualitative dominant mixed methods design comprised analysis of over a hundred implementer progress reports (submitted July 2010 – June 2013), a staff survey and a staff focus group interview.Results: The programmes demonstrated capacity to not only achieve expected outcomes (e.g. enhanced community awareness about harmful gambling), but also to enhance social sustainability at the community level (e.g. established trustful relationships) and achieve some programme sustainability (e.g. community ownership over ongoing programme delivery).Conclusions: The evaluation noted the potential for a sustainable gambling harm-minimisation model. Community-action based harm-minimisation programmes offer programme sustainability potential which in turn offers funding cost-effectiveness when there are continual public health outcomes beyond initial funding. Although resource intensive, the community-action based approach enables culturally appropriate public health programmes suitable for societies where specific ethnic groups have higher gambling risk. Recognition of such harm-minimisation programmes’ contribution to social sustainability is important considering the potential for broader public health outcomes (e.g. better life quality, lesser social problems) within socially sustainable societies.

Kolandai-Matchett, K., Bellringer, M., Landon, J., & Abbott, M. (n.d.). A process evaluation of the “Aware” and “Supportive Communities” gambling harm-minimisation programmes in New Zealand. European Journal of Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckx120

 

Gambling Participation, Expenditure and Risk of Harm in Australia, 1997–1998 and 2010–2011

By Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M.

Abstract: Gambling-related harm results primarily from financial losses. Internationally Australia continues to rank as the largest spending nation per capita on gambling products. This would suggest that Australian gamblers are at disproportionately high risk of harm despite almost two decades of industry scrutiny and regulation, and investment in research, treatment and education programs. However, declines in participation rates, per capita expenditure, household expenditure, national disposable income spent on gambling and problem gambling rates have been cited as evidence that fewer people are gambling, that gamblers are spending less, and that gambling safety in Australia has improved. The current study investigated these propositions using national population and accounts data, and statistics from Australia’s two population-representative gambling surveys conducted in 1997–1998 and 2010–2011. Despite a falling participation rate the study found no real change in the number of people gambling overall, and increasing numbers consuming casino table games, race wagering and sports betting. Further found were increases rather than decreases in average gambler expenditure, overall, and across most products, particularly electronic gaming machines (EGMs). Potentially risky levels of average expenditure were observed in both periods, overall and for race wagering, casino table gaming, and EGMs. Changes in the proportion of income spent on gambling suggest risks declined overall and for race wagering and casino table gaming, but increased for EGMs. Finally, while problem gambling statistics were not comparable between periods, the study found double the number of moderate risk gamblers previously estimated for 2010–2011 amongst the 2 million Australians found to have experienced one or more gambling-related problems. The findings have implications for public health policy and resourcing, and the way in which prevalence and expenditure statistics have been interpreted by researchers, government and industry in Australia and elsewhere.

Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M. (2017). Gambling Participation, Expenditure and Risk of Harm in Australia, 1997–1998 and 2010–2011. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-017-9708-0

 

Why do young adults gamble online? A qualitative study of motivations to transition from social casino games to online gambling (full text)

By Kim, H. S., Wohl, M. J. A., Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. L.

Abstract: The present research examined the mechanisms of initiating online gambling among young adults. Of particular interest was whether social casino gaming was noted as part of young adults’ experience with online gambling. This is because there is growing concern that social casino gaming may be a “gateway” to online gambling. Three focus groups (N = 21) were conducted with young adult online gamblers from two large Canadian Universities. Participants noted the role of peer influence as well as incentives (e.g., sign up bonuses) as important factors that motivated them to start engaging in online gambling. Participants also noted a link between social casino games and online gambling. Specifically, several young adults reported migrating to online gambling within a relatively short period after engaging with social casino games. Potential mechanisms that may lead to the migration from social casino games to online gambling included the role of advertisements and the inflated pay out rates on these free to play gambling like games. The results suggest initiatives to prevent the development of disordered gambling should understand the potential of social casino gaming to act as a gateway to online gambling, especially amongst this vulnerable population.

Kim, H. S., Wohl, M. J. A., Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. L. (2017). Why do young adults gamble online? A qualitative study of motivations to transition from social casino games to online gambling. Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40405-017-0025-4