Factors that influence children’s gambling attitudes and consumption intentions: lessons for gambling harm prevention research, policies and advocacy strategies (full text)

Hannah Pitt, Samantha L. Thomas, Amy Bestman, Mike Daube and Jeffrey Derevensky.

Background: Harmful gambling is a public health issue that affects not only adults but also children. With the development of a range of new gambling products, and the marketing for these products, children are potentially exposed to gambling more than ever before. While there have been many calls to develop strategies which protect children from harmful gambling products, very little is known about the factors that may influence children’s attitudes towards these products. This study aimed to explore children’s gambling attitudes and consumption intentions and the range of consumer socialisation factors that may influence these attitudes and behaviours.

Methods: Children aged 8 to 16 years old (n = 48) were interviewed in Melbourne, Australia. A semi-structured interview format included activities with children and open-ended questions. We explored children’s perceptions of the popularity of different gambling products, their current engagement with gambling, and their future gambling consumption intentions. We used thematic analysis to explore children’s narratives with a focus on the range of socialising factors that may shape children’s gambling attitudes and perceptions.

Results: Three key themes emerged from the data. First, children’s perceptions of the popularity of different products were shaped by what they had seen or heard about these products, whether through family activities, the media (and in particular marketing) of gambling products, and/or the alignment of gambling products with sport. Second, children’s gambling behaviours were influenced by family members and culturally valued events. Third, many children indicated consumption intentions towards sports betting. This was due to four key factors: (1) the alignment of gambling with culturally valued activities; (2) their perceived knowledge about sport; (3) the marketing and advertising of gambling products (and in particular sports betting); and (4) the influence of friends and family.

Conclusions: This study indicates that there is a range of socialisation factors, particularly family and the media (predominantly via marketing), which may be positively shaping children’s gambling attitudes, behaviours and consumption intentions. There is a need for governments to develop effective policies and regulations to reduce children’s exposure to gambling products and ensure they are protected from the harms associated with gambling.

Pitt, H., Thomas, S. L., Bestman, A., Daube, M., & Derevensky, J. (2017). Factors that influence children’s gambling attitudes and consumption intentions: lessons for gambling harm prevention research, policies and advocacy strategies. Harm Reduction Journal, 14, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-017-0136-3

Advertisements

The intergenerational transmission of problem gambling: The mediating role of parental psychopathology

The present study investigated the intergenerational transmission of problem gambling and the potential mediating role of parental psychopathology (problem drinking, drug use problems, and mental health issues). The study comprised 3953 participants (1938 males, 2015 females) recruited from a large-scale Australian community telephone survey of adults retrospectively reporting on parental problem gambling and psychopathology during their childhood. Overall, 4.0% [95%CI 3.0, 5.0] (n = 157) of participants reported paternal problem gambling and 1.7% [95%CI 1.0, 2.0] (n = 68) reported maternal problem gambling. Compared to their peers, participants reporting paternal problem gambling were 5.1 times more likely to be moderate risk gamblers and 10.7 times more likely to be problem gamblers. Participants reporting maternal problem gambling were 1.7 times more likely to be moderate risk gamblers and 10.6 times more likely to be problem gamblers. The results revealed that the relationships between paternal-and-participant and maternal-and-participant problem gambling were significant, but that only the relationship between paternal-and-participant problem gambling remained statistically significant after controlling for maternal problem gambling and sociodemographic factors. Paternal problem drinking and maternal drug use problems partially mediated the relationship between paternal-and-participant problem gambling, and fully mediated the relationship between maternal-and-participant problem gambling. In contrast, parental mental health issues failed to significantly mediate the transmission of gambling problems by either parent. When parental problem gambling was the mediator, there was full mediation of the effect between parental psychopathology and offspring problem gambling for fathers but not mothers. Overall, the study highlights the vulnerability of children from problem gambling households and suggests that it would be of value to target prevention and intervention efforts towards this cohort.

Gambling and the Couple: Comparing Gamblers’ and Spouses’ Views on Family, Marital and Individual Levels

Open source article. 

This study compares the perspectives of 19 pathological gamblers with those of 13 pathological gamblers’ spouses (N = 31) with regard to family (i.e., family functioning and quality of life), marital variables (i.e., dyadic adjustment and marital satisfaction) and individual variables (i.e., congruence, differentiation of the self and psychopathological symptomatology). Regarding individual functioning, the gamblers and spouses presented with psychological symptomatology, as both had values that are typical for emotionally disturbed populations. Moreover, the gamblers showed additional difficulties with regard to congruence. The results show that the gamblers’ perspectives on family and marital life were less affected by difficulties, yet this difference was most pronounced in marital life. The primary limitations of the current study are regarding the independence of the subsamples (i.e., the participants were married or had marital life partners but were not couples) and the small sample size. Nevertheless, the current results call into question the ‘truths’ that are taken for granted by previous literature (e.g., gambler’s perceptions of marital problems) and highlight the challenges that couples’ therapists face regarding perspective differences in couples experiencing a gambling problem.

Source: Cunha, D., & Relvas, A. P. (2015). Gambling and the Couple: Comparing Gamblers’ and Spouses’ Views on Family, Marital and Individual Levels. Journal of Gambling Issues.

Problem Gambling Family Impacts: Development of the Problem Gambling Family Impact Scale

Although family members of problem gamblers frequently present to treatment services, problem gambling family impacts are under-researched. The most commonly endorsed items on a new measure of gambling-related family impacts [Problem Gambling Family Impact Measure (PG-FIM: Problem Gambler version)] by 212 treatment-seeking problem gamblers included trust (62.5 %), anger (61.8 %), depression or sadness (58.7 %), anxiety (57.7 %), distress due to gambling-related absences (56.1 %), reduced quality time (52.4 %), and communication breakdowns (52.4 %). The PG-FIM (Problem Gambler version) was comprised of three factors: (1) financial impacts, (2) increased responsibility impacts, and (3) psychosocial impacts with good psychometric properties…

Source: Dowling, N. A., Suomi, A., Jackson, A. C., & Lavis, T. (2015). Problem Gambling Family Impacts: Development of the Problem Gambling Family Impact Scale. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–21. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-015-9582-6