Awareness and prevention
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Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
Louise Holdsworth, Elaine Nuske and Nerilee Hing
This study investigated the relationships between gambling behaviour, significant life events, psychological conditions, social factors and gambling-related harm in people who gamble.
The research was conducted by Louise Holdsworth, Elaine Nuske and Nerilee Hing from the Centre for Gambling Education and Research at Southern Cross University. It was funded by an early career researcher grant from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
The study involved qualitative telephone interviews with participants who were asked a series of questions about gambling, life events and health. The study involved two groups of participants:
Significant life events considered in the study included death of a spouse, major change in health status and significant problems at work. Common co-morbidities investigated in the study included depression, anxiety, other mental health conditions and alcohol and substance abuse.
As a qualitative study with a small sample size, one of its limitations is it does not provide a quantitative measure of the extent to which significant life events, co-morbidities and other social factors influence gambling behaviour.
This exploratory study provides valuable insights into personal gambling histories and their complex relationship to life events and health.
The research builds on a small but growing body of research on the relationship between social connectedness and gambling. Findings from the study suggest reducing isolation and fostering local social and community networks are key factors in building resilience in those whose experience of significant life events might lead to negative gambling behaviour.
The findings in relation to comorbid psychological conditions and problem gambling also highlight the importance of a collaborative and coordinated approach to the provision of gambling and health support services.
Louise Holdsworth, Elaine Nuske, Nerilee Hing (2013). The relationship between gambling, significant life events, co-morbidity and associated social factors. Victoria, Australia: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
This summary is included in the March edition of the GIRO research updates.
Short and sharp overviews and explanations of gambling regulation, data, and activities.