Gambling among emerging adults: How gender and risk level influence associated problem behaviours [open-access article].

Abstract: This study investigates mental health and substance use problems associated with gambling among Canadian emerging adults (ages 18–20 years). Drawing on a cross-sectional wave of 624 (47.8% male) participants from the Manitoba Longitudinal Study of Young Adults, our findings suggest that among emerging adults, problem gambling should be understood as part of a wider syndrome. The profile of syndromic associations varies with both problem gambling risk level and gender. With respect to risk level, regression models indicate that, relative to no-risk gamblers, lower risk gamblers are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, whereas higher risk gamblers report greater symptoms of depression and anxiety. Males and females present different barriers to recovery: High-risk female gamblers are more likely to rely on escape-avoidance coping mechanisms, whereas their male counterparts tend to lack perceived social support. Given the centrality of these two variables and the lack of literature addressing how they interact, we conclude that further research is needed to understand how gender and gambling severity interact to simultaneously influence gambling-related behaviours among emerging adults. Access online article

Reference: Sanscartier, M.D., Shen, J., & Edgerton, J.D. (2019). Gambling among emerging adults: How gender and risk level influence associated problem behaviours. Journal of Gambling Issues, 41(April), 101-123. Retrieved from http://jgi.camh.net/index.php/jgi/article/view/4043

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Gamblers’ (mis-)interpretations of Problem Gambling Severity Index items: Ambiguities in qualitative accounts from the Swedish longitudinal gambling study [open-access article]

Abstract: The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is a screening instrument frequently used to identify risk and problem gambling. Even though the PGSI has good psychometric properties, it still produces a large proportion of misclassifications. Aims: To explore possible reasons for misclassifications in problem gambling level by analysing previously classified moderate-risk gamblers’ answers to the PGSI items, in relation to their own current and past gambling behaviours.
Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 19 participants reporting no negative consequences from gambling. They were asked the PGSI questions within an eight-year time frame (2008 to 2016). Ambiguous answers to PGSI items were subject to content analysis.
Results: Several answers to the PGSI items contained ambiguities and misinterpretations, making it difficult to assess to what extent their answers actually indicated any problematic gambling over time. The item about feelings of guilt generated accounts rather reflecting self-recrimination over wasting money or regretting gambling as a meaningless or immoral activity. The item concerning critique involved mild interpretations such as being ridiculed for buying lottery tickets or getting comments for being boring. Similar accounts were given by the participants irrespective of initial
endorsement of the items. Other possible reasons for misclassifications were related to recall bias, language difficulties, selective memory, and a tendency to answer one part of the question without taking the whole question into account.
Conclusions: Answers to the PGSI can contain a variety of meanings based on the respondents’ subjective interpretations. Reports of lower levels of harm in the population should thus be interpreted with caution. In clinical settings it is important to combine use of screening instruments with interviews, to be able to better understand gamblers’ perceptions of the gambling behaviour and its negative consequences.
Article available online

Reference: Samuelsson, E., Wennberg, P., & Sundqvist, K. (2019). Gamblers’ (mis-)interpretations of Problem Gambling Severity Index items: Ambiguities in qualitative accounts from the Swedish longitudinal gambling study. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 36(2), 140–160. DOI: 10.1177/1455072519829407

An analysis of consumer protection for gamblers across different online gambling operators in Ireland: A descriptive study [open access article]

Cooney, C., Columb, D., Costa, J. et al. (2018). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-018-9968-7

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the responsible gambling tools which are available to online gamblers at Irish online gambling websites. The present study used a similar methodology to a recent study carried out on the world’s most popular websites (Bonello and Griffiths Gaming Law Review and Economics, 21, 278–285, 2017), where 50 of the most advertised online gambling websites were evaluated in relation to their responsible gambling (RG) practices. The present study evaluated 39 gambling websites with either a “.ie” or “.com/ie” domain. Each website was evaluated by checking for a number of RG practices, including presence of a dedicated RG page; age verification; access to gambling account history; the availability of RG tools, such as limit setting facilities and exclusion settings; and links to limit-setting options on the deposit page. Descriptive statistics were then performed on the results from each website. Of the 39 online gambling operators identified, 22 redirected gamblers to a “.com” domain, while 17 operators remained as a “.ie” domain. Thirty-five websites (89.7%) visited had a dedicated RG page. Responsible gambling features were evaluated and demonstrated to be available in an inconsistent manner across online gambling websites. Irish websites were shown to perform poorly in comparison with non-Irish counterparts in the provision of RG tools. The researchers of the present study are not aware of any similar studies conducted to date in Ireland. Access full article

Problem gambling and family violence: Findings from a population-representative study (open access 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

Gambling in two Victorian regional Australian Aboriginal communities [open access presentation]

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

The association between demographic factors, mental health and gambling behaviour / Catharine Bregazzi [open access thesis]

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the BA Hons in
Psychology at Dublin Business School, School of Arts, Dublin.

Abstract: Gambling behaviour and its impact on mental health is an area of great interest, particularly with the growing rate of gambling participation. The current study aims to extend previous research by investigating differences in Mental Health (Depression, Anxiety and Stress) between Non-Gamblers, In-Person Gamblers and Online Gamblers and the association between Gender, Employment Status, Age and the Likelihood to Gamble. This was investigated through a quantitative, cross sectional survey design. Volunteer participants were made up of 155 individuals (females=101, males=54) and ranged in age from 19 to 74 years old. A single online 92 item survey was used in order to gather data. Analysis showed no significant difference for differences in Mental Health between Non-Gamblers, In-Person Gamblers and Online Gamblers while the association between Gender, Employment Status, Age and the Likelihood to Gamble was partially supported. More research would need to be conducted to further investigate these results. Access thesis online from the Dublin Business School

A study into the themes and typologies of binge gambling episodes [presentation available online]

By Verity Harris. Supervisors: Dr. Amanda Roberts and Dr Stephen Sharman.

Motive & methods: Research suggests to look into the patterns and relationships of binge gambling with other gambling types. Themes and typologies of problem gamblers binge episodes, to gain potential insight into binge gamblers episodes. Gordon Moody Association: intensive residential treatment programme in the UK for the most severely addicted. Access to 10 years worth of data. 52 interviews used, aged 21– 63, all males. Thematic Analysis: Chosen for it’s flexibility, simple use and ability to analyse latent level of data. Ethics has been collected and approved by SOPREC; Research discussing binge gamblers is in reference to Nower and Blaszczynski (2003). View presentation online