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

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          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.


          Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted with a population-representative sample of 4,153 Australian adults.


          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 non-problem 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.

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          Most cited references 37

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          What factors are associated with recent intimate partner violence? findings from the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence

          Background Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a global public health and human rights concern. Despite a growing body of research into risk factors for IPV, methodological differences limit the extent to which comparisons can be made between studies. We used data from ten countries included in the WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence to identify factors that are consistently associated with abuse across sites, in order to inform the design of IPV prevention programs. Methods Standardised population-based household surveys were done between 2000 and 2003. One woman aged 15-49 years was randomly selected from each sampled household. Those who had ever had a male partner were asked about their experiences of physically and sexually violent acts. We performed multivariate logistic regression to identify predictors of physical and/or sexual partner violence within the past 12 months. Results Despite wide variations in the prevalence of IPV, many factors affected IPV risk similarly across sites. Secondary education, high SES, and formal marriage offered protection, while alcohol abuse, cohabitation, young age, attitudes supportive of wife beating, having outside sexual partners, experiencing childhood abuse, growing up with domestic violence, and experiencing or perpetrating other forms of violence in adulthood, increased the risk of IPV. The strength of the association was greatest when both the woman and her partner had the risk factor. Conclusions IPV prevention programs should increase focus on transforming gender norms and attitudes, addressing childhood abuse, and reducing harmful drinking. Development initiatives to improve access to education for girls and boys may also have an important role in violence prevention.
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            Interpreting scores on the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)

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              Psychiatric comorbidity in pathological gambling: a critical review.

              To critically review the current literature on pathological gambling as regards the significant psychiatric comorbidities associated with it. The authors synthesized information found via electronic searches (MEDLINE) and bibliographic-directed searches in over 60 publications. Pathological gamblers frequently have comorbid substance use disorders. In addition, a subset appear to have comorbid antisocial personality disorder, but they represent a minority when compared with those people who have acquired their antisocial traits as a consequence of their gambling behaviour. A comorbidity with the mood disorders is probable, but methodological concerns and inconsistencies with the data prevent further delineation of this. Emerging research for other disorders possibly associated with pathological gambling is also reviewed. Pathological gambling is associated with significant psychiatric comorbidity. Recommendations for future research are described.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                21 September 2018
                September 2018
                : 7
                : 3
                : 806-813
                [ 1 ]School of Psychology, Deakin University , Geelong, VIC, Australia
                [ 2 ]Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne , Parkville, VIC, Australia
                [ 3 ]Institute of Child Protection Study, Australian Catholic University , Canberra, ACT, Australia
                [ 4 ]Centre for Research on Ageing, Health & Wellbeing, Australian National University (ANU) , Canberra, ACT, Australia
                [ 5 ]International Primary Health Care Research Institute, Shenzhen, China
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Nicki A. Dowling, Associate Professor; School of Psychology, Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125, Geelong, VIC, Australia; Phone: +61 3 9244 5610; Fax: +61 3 9244 6858; E-mail: nicki.dowling@ .
                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 43, Pages: 8
                Funding sources: This study provides an unfunded secondary analysis of data collected for the Children at Risk Study funded by Gambling Research Australia (tender number 103/06).
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