Julie Pattinson who recently joined CaHRU as a research assistant, recently successfully defended her doctoral thesis evaluating psychological and physical health as predictors for problem gambling in British older adults.
The aim of the doctorate was to build knowledge and understanding of British older adult gambling behaviour to understand psychological and age-related physical health differences as predictive risk factors for problem gambling. The study used a mixed methods approach. A qualitative study using grounded theory suggested that British older adults gambled to alleviate distress experienced from psychological, lifestyle and physical changes associated with ageing. A cross-sectional survey investigating risk factors for problem gambling behaviour found the strongest predictor was use of slot machines. The third study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis found that British older adult women gambled to fill voids, for emotional escape, and in doing so risked overspending.
Overall the thesis provided a detailed analysis of how psychological and physical health factors affect British older adult gambling behaviour. This will inform future research on gambling behaviour, with a long-term goal of informing development of gambling interventions for this population.
By Julie Pattinson