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      Gambling and family: A two-way relationship

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          Background and aims

          Families play an important role in the evolution of gambling and are also adversely affected by the disordered gambling of any one of their members. The aims of this study were to explore both the role families play in gambling initiation, maintenance, and help-seeking, and the harm caused to families by the gambling behavior using a qualitative approach.


          Regular older adult gamblers were included in the study. In-depth interviews were conducted with 25 older adults to gain an understanding of gambling from their perspective. Older adult gamblers described their lived experience of gambling ranging from initiation to harm and attempts to cut down or limit gambling. Data were analyzed using thematic network analysis.


          The mean age of the 25 participants was 66.2 years. The majority were male ( n = 18), of Chinese ethnicity ( n = 16), had secondary education ( n = 9), were married ( n = 20), and currently employed ( n = 15). Four organizing themes related to the role of families in initiation and maintenance of gambling, harm caused to family members, and their role in help-seeking were identified.

          Discussion and conclusions

          The study emphasizes the role of Asian families in both initiation and maintenance of gambling. Hence, families must be involved in prevention and outreach programs. Family members must be educated, so that they can encourage help-seeking to ensure early treatment and recovery. There is a need for interventional studies for reducing stress and improving coping among family members.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Toward the development of an adolescent gambling problem severity scale

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            Understanding gambling related harm: a proposed definition, conceptual framework, and taxonomy of harms

            Background Harm from gambling is known to impact individuals, families, and communities; and these harms are not restricted to people with a gambling disorder. Currently, there is no robust and inclusive internationally agreed upon definition of gambling harm. In addition, the current landscape of gambling policy and research uses inadequate proxy measures of harm, such as problem gambling symptomology, that contribute to a limited understanding of gambling harms. These issues impede efforts to address gambling from a public health perspective. Methods Data regarding harms from gambling was gathered using four separate methodologies, a literature review, focus groups and interviews with professionals involved in the support and treatment of gambling problems, interviews with people who gamble and their affected others, and an analysis of public forum posts for people experiencing problems with gambling and their affected others. The experience of harm related to gambling was examined to generate a conceptual framework. The catalogue of harms experienced were organised as a taxonomy. Results The current paper proposes a definition and conceptual framework of gambling related harm that captures the full breadth of harms that gambling can contribute to; as well as a taxonomy of harms to facilitate the development of more appropriate measures of harm. Conclusions Our aim is to create a dialogue that will lead to a more coherent interpretation of gambling harm across treatment providers, policy makers and researchers.
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              Problem Gambling and its Impact on Families: A Literature Review


                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                26 December 2017
                December 2017
                : 6
                : 4
                : 689-698
                [ 1 ]Research Division, Institute of Mental Health , Singapore, Singapore
                [ 2 ]Research School of Population Health, Australian National University , Canberra, ACT, Australia
                [ 3 ]School of Primary and Allied Health Care, Monash University , Clayton, VIC, Australia
                [ 4 ] International Institute for Primary Health Care Research , Shenzhen, China
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Mythily Subramaniam; Research Division, Institute of Mental Health, Buangkok Green Medical Park, 10 Buangkok View, Singapore 539747, Singapore; Phone: +65 6389 3633; Fax: +65 6343 7962; E-mail: Mythily@
                © 2017 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 57, Pages: 10
                Funding sources: Funding for this study was provided by Ministry of Health, National Medical Research Council (NMRC), Research Training Fellowship Grant (MH 095:003/008-1019). MS was awarded a fellowship under the grant as well as from the funding by Centre Grant Programme (grant no.: NMRC/CG/004/2013). NMRC had no role in the study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data; writing the manuscript; or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
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