Prevalence estimates of pathological gambling in Puerto Rico
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AbstractLegal gambling has proliferated internationally and has become a public health issue because of the association between gambling participation and the prevalence of pathological gambling. This paper summarizes the major findings of a prevalence survey of gambling and problem gambling conducted in Puerto Rico. A sample of 1,506 residents of Puerto Rico, aged 18 years and older, were interviewed in person to determine involvement in gambling activities. The interview included the South Oaks Gambling Screen for pathological gambling. A substantial proportion of the sample, 6.8% (±1.3%), scored as current probable pathological gamblers. This prevalence rate is higher than prevalence rates for probable pathological gambling identified in the general population of any other jurisdiction where similar surveys have been conducted. Gender, age, marital and employment status, regular participation in continuous forms of gambling, starting to gamble at a young age, and having a parent who had gambling problems are major risk factors. The findings provide a baseline for further study into the relationship between socio-economic status, cultural attitudes toward gambling and gambling-related difficulties. The findings also raise questions about the impact of methods of data collection (face-to-face interviews versus telephone interviews versus mailed questionnaires) on identified prevalence rates of probable pathological gambling.
SponsorshipPuerto Rico Treasury Department
A Spanish translation of this report was published in Revista Puertorriqueña de Psicología.