Life Events May Spark Problem Gambling Behavior [Research]

Life events, like retirement and job loss, may increase problem gambling behavior, according to a recent gambling study.

The researchers conducted three phone interviews, each one year apart, with 250 Canadian adults. During the calls, researchers asked participants about life events that had occurred in the previous 12 months.

The results suggest that these factors increase Problem Gambling Severity Index  (PGSI) scores. Retirement was the strongest predictor of a rise in problematic gambling behavior. This was followed by job loss and having difficulties with a boss.

It’s worth noting that none of the life events predicted a decrease in PGSI scores.

How might these findings help professionals prevent & treat gambling addiction?

As noted in the review of this study by Worldwide Addiction Gambling Education Report (WAGER), the results suggest that counselors, healthcare professionals, and others can be on the alert for changes in patients experiencing life events.

The research also suggests that the trigger event doesn’t necessarily need to appear negative or significant. For example, many people view retirement, the primary trigger in this study, as a positive life transition. Consider also that having trouble with a boss may not, on the surface, seem like a problem so significant that it can increase addictive behavior.

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

Problem gambling is a serious condition that often flies under the radar. Unlike the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, it rarely manifests itself in apparent physical symptoms.

If you’re a counselor, educator, or health professional, Problem Gambling Awareness Month is the perfect time to learn more about this diagnosable–and treatable–condition so you can better help the people you serve. Check out these resources:

Problem Gambling Awareness Month 2017-Stats and Facts

Some Gamblers Self-Medicate with Mobile/Computer Casino Games [Research]

Parkinson’s Meds Linked to Higher Risk of Problem Gambling [Research]

Men Who Gamble More Prone to Violent Behavior [Research]

Problem Gambling Resources for Health Care Professionals

If you’d like additional information on gambling addiction prevention and treatment resources in Lancaster County, PA and Lebanon County, PA, contact Compass Mark at 717-299-2831.

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