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The relationship between family gambling problems, other family stressors, and health indicators in a large population-representative sample of Australian adults

Purpose: Harms due to excessive gambling can be experienced by gamblers and those close to them. Family gambling problems (FGPs) are currently under-researched, particularly in population-representative samples. This study aimed to identify prevalence, risk factors, and the complex of stressors and health-related consequences associated with FGPs, as well as isolating the impact of FGPs on physical and psychological health problems. Methods: We analysed data from the National Health Survey 2011–13, a large (N = 15,475) nationally representative sample of Australian adults. Participants reported on the presence of 14 family stressors (including FGPs), self-assessed health status, and risky health behaviours. Psychological impact was measured by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale-10, as well as several indicators of the presence of mental health problems. Results: Overall, 1.7% of households reported a FGP. Interviewees in these households reported three times the number of other stressors than those without a FGP. In addition, they were around eight times more likely to be experiencing other addictions (drug and alcohol related problems) and stressors associated with socially deviant behaviours (trouble with police, abuse or violent crime, and witness to violence). Once age, gender, socioeconomic disadvantage, and other stressors were controlled for, FGPs significantly predicted lower self-assessed health and higher psychological distress. Conclusions: FGPs occur within a complex of other addictions and stressors, impacting the quality of life of people close to problem gambling. The findings are discussed in relation to their support for General Strain Theory (Agnew, Criminology 30:47–87, 1992).

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Start Page

1

End Page

24

Number of Pages

247

eISSN

1573-3602

ISSN

1050-5350

Location

United States

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Language

eng

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

09/11/2020

Era Eligible

Yes

Medium

Print-Electronic

Journal

Journal of Gambling Studies