Problem gambling and psychological distress: a cross-national perspective on the mediating effect of consumer debt and debt problems among emerging adults (open access article)

Oksanen, A., Savolainen, I., Sirola, A., &Kaakinen, M. (2018). Harm Reduction Journal, 15(1). doi https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0251-9

Background: Severe economic difficulties are common among younger generations who currently have an easy access to consumer credit and payday loans in many Western countries. These accessible yet expensive short-term loans may lead to more severe financial difficulties, including default and debt enforcement, both which are defined as debt problems within this study. This study hypothesized that consumer debt and debt problems mediate the relationship between problematic gambling and psychological distress. Excessive gambling can be funded with consumer debt, which in turn leads to the accumulation of financial stressors and, eventually, psychological distress. Access full article

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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

 

Proactive coping and gambling disorder among young men (full text)

Sleczka, P., Braun, B., Grüne, B., Bühringer, G., & Kraus, L.

Objectives: Male sex, young age, and frequent gambling are considered as risk factors for gambling disorder (GD) and stress might be one of the triggers of gambling behavior among problem gamblers. Conversely, well-developed coping with stress might counteract gambling problems. The Proactive Coping Theory provides a promising approach for the further development of preventive and treatment measures. The objective of the study was to investigate different facets of proactive coping (PC) in young male gamblers.

Methods: Young men from Bavaria were recruited via the Munich citizens’ registry (n=2,588) and Facebook invitations (n=105). In total, 173 out of 398 individuals were positively screened for frequent gambling and/or signs of related problems and completed the baseline questionnaire of the Munich Leisure-time Study. Factors investigated include gambling problems, PC, impulsiveness, social support, and psychological distress.

Results: Gambling problems were associated with lower levels of preventive coping as well as of adaptive reaction delay. The associations were also significant when controlled for impulsiveness and general psychological distress. Preventive coping moderated the association between social support and gambling problems.

Discussion and conclusions: Young men with gambling problems less frequently prevent the occurrence of stressors and more often react hasty when these occur. While the investigated group reported good social support, this factor was negatively associated with GD only among individuals with good preventive coping. Preventive coping poses a useful construct for selective prevention and treatment as it can be modified in professional interventions.

Sleczka, P., Braun, B., Grüne, B., Bühringer, G., & Kraus, L. (2016). Proactive coping and gambling disorder among young men. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.5.2016.080

Self-Generated Motives for Not Gambling Among Young Adult Non-gamblers

Rash, C. L., & McGrath, D. S. (2016).

Motivational models have been shown to usefully describe reasons for engaging in addictive behaviors including gambling disorder. Although most scales designed to measure motives have been derived statistically, self-generated open-ended responses have also shown utility for identifying unique motives for gambling. While the motivational structure for gambling disorder has been extensively explored, there has been a paucity of research examining motives for choosing not to gamble. This is not the case for other addictive behaviors such as alcohol use where motives for abstaining from drinking have been well defined. The primary goal of this study was to qualitatively explore and identify motives for not gambling in a sample of young adult non-gamblers using open-ended responses. A sample (N = 196) of undergraduate current non-gamblers, defined as no gambling activity over the previous 12 months, completed a series of questionnaires on demographics, gambling behavior, and alcohol consumption. Furthermore, they were asked to provide their top three reasons for not gambling in rank order. The results revealed eight specific motives for why participants chose not to gamble: ‘financial reasons and risk aversion’; ‘disinterest and other priorities’; ‘personal and religious convictions’; ‘addiction concerns’; ‘influence of others’ values’; ‘awareness of the odds’; ‘lack of access, opportunity, or skill’; and ‘emotional distress’. Personal and religious convictions reasons were also related to lifetime non-drinking, suggesting that these motives are associated with decreased addictive behaviors in general. Ultimately, these results may help to inform the design of prevention strategies for gambling disorder.

Bread, milk and a Tattslotto ticket: the interpretive repertoires of young adult gambling in Australia

The discourse of Australian young adults who gamble regularly was analysed to explore key dilemmas and challenges of a generation who grew up with the positive and negative impacts of gambling advertisements. Qualitative interviews of seven young recreational gamblers who regularly frequent gaming machine venues were conducted. The discourse that they used to describe their gambling involvement, motivation, development and subjective views were analysed and three central repertoires: ‘Culture not self,’ ‘If it makes you happy,’ and ‘No problem here!’ were identified. The current findings demonstrate the participants’ attempts to understand and legitimise their gambling. Further, it was suggested that young adults face a series of dilemmas when deciding whether to gamble and to what extent they gamble. Their discourse highlights the tension between individual agency, societal expectations and familial influence. The respondents primarily gambled for social reasons in a manner which they perceived as culturally acceptable. The importance of harm minimization and public awareness campaigns directed at young adults was also discussed.

A Longitudinal Study of the Temporal Relation Between Problem Gambling and Mental and Substance Use Disorders Among Young Adults – Open Access

Relatively little is known about the temporal relation between at-risk gambling or problem gambling (PG) and mental and substance use disorders (SUDs) in young adulthood. Our study aimed to examine whether past-year, at-risk, or PG is associated with incident mental disorders and SUDs (that is, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder [OCD], or alcohol dependence) and illegal drug use, and whether past-year mental disorders and SUDs and illegal drug use is associated with incident at-risk or PG.

Source: Afifi, T. O., Nicholson, R., Martins, S. S., & Sareen, J. (2016). A Longitudinal Study of the Temporal Relation Between Problem Gambling and Mental and Substance Use Disorders Among Young Adults. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 61(2), 102–111. http://doi.org/10.1177/0706743715625950