Transitions and Stability of Problem Gambling Behaviours

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Addictions Foundation of Manitoba
Researchers around the world have examined the correlates and consequences of problem gambling but few studies have addressed the issue longitudinally. Recent reviews of longitudinal research (e.g., El-Guebaly et al, 2006; LaPlante, Nelson, LaBrie et al. 2008; Slutske, 2007) generally do not support the conventional view that problem gambling is an enduring condition. Although problem gambling population prevalence rates remain relatively steady over time, problem gambling is far less stable at an individual level, but instead, transitory and episodic (Slutske, Jackson & Sher, 2003). To date, little is known about transitions in gambling behaviours, and the factors associated with transitions over time. There is an abundance of cross sectional research, however, that may provide some insight into these factors. The literature indicates that factors such as co-morbidity, gambling-related cognitions and social networks are important considerations in understanding problem gambling. However, since the research is generally weighted towards studies of a cross-sectional design that only look at the associations at one point in time; we have a limited understanding of the role of these factors over time. Time is particularly important given that problem gambling is a dynamic and transient process. The longitudinal nature of the current study provides the opportunity to examine varied trajectories of problem gambling in relation to these factors to understand the determinants or temporal ordering of these changes and to identify ways to better understand and assist those who are having gambling problems. This one year study with multiple data collection points makes a significant contribution to the field by examining the dynamic nature of gambling across multiple measurement points to capture important transitions and changes in gambling and the critical antecedent conditions to explain transitions and stability in gambling over time. Lastly, given the generally low use of treatment among those with problems, the study seeks to better understand why people seek help for problem gambling by examining people’s perceptions and experiences with problem gambling assistance and their help-seeking behaviour.
Gambling -- Manitoba, Compulsive gambling -- Manitoba, Compulsive gamblers -- Manitoba
Wiebe, J., Maitland, S. B., Hodgins, D., Davey, A., & Gottlieb, B. (2009). Transitions and stability of problem gambling behaviours. Final Report to the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.