Gambling Disorders 360°

Exploring the latest news, issues and research relating to gambling disorders and responsible gaming

Reflecting on the Past and Looking to the Future

by: NCRG Staff | Jan 9, 2013

The NCRG staff, Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board wishes you a belated Happy New Year! Last year was an exciting and productive time for the NCRG. Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue to post about the NCRG’s accomplishments and highlights from 2012.

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NCRG on the Road: ASAM and APA Meetings

by: NCRG Staff | Dec 20, 2012

The NCRG on the Road blog series includes posts from NCRG staff members as they travel to fulfill the organization’s mission of funding the highest-quality research on gambling disorders and increasing public education opportunities. This post is from Nathan Smith, the NCRG’s Program Officer, about his travels on behalf of the NCRG to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) conference in Atlanta, Ga., and the American Psychological Association conference in Orlando, Fla.

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NCRG-Funded Study Examines How Cognitive Distortions Affect Gambling Disorders

by: NCRG Staff | Dec 12, 2012

Do people with gambling disorders think differently than those without? The answer is yes and no. One might assume that a person who is diagnosed with a gambling disorder must predictably and consistently make harmful choices. While this thought is true, research on decision making has shown that all humans make consistent and predictable cognitive errors (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). Thus, finding and exploring the differences in cognitive errors made by people with and without a gambling disorder may offer valuable insights into understanding how gambling disorders impact the decision-making process. Correcting these cognitive distortions is also an important element in several common treatments for pathological gambling, and it has been theorized that merely teaching probability and reasoning skills may be able to prevent pathological gambling before it starts (though research has not yet supported this theory).

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New Research Tests Treatments for College Students with Gambling Disorders

by: NCRG Staff | Dec 5, 2012

For college students, fall can be a time where they place bets on college football games and arrange their lineup in their fantasy football leagues. Researchers have found that about 75 percent of college students have gambled in the past year and about 6 percent have experienced problems with their gambling (Barnes, Welte, Hoffman, & Tidwell, 2010).  One recent study has started to address this issue by putting to the test two promising treatment methods for college students experiencing gambling problems in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) (Larimer et al., 2011).

This study is of special interest to us at the NCRG because we recently funded one of the researchers to develop an online version of a personalized feedback intervention, one of the treatments tested in this article, for our web-based resource about gambling on college campuses: www.CollegeGambling.org

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NCRG Monograph Now Available: What Clinicians Need to Know About Gambling Disorders

by: NCRG Staff | Nov 20, 2012

NCRG MonographWhat is a gambling disorder and how can it be treated? To answer those questions, the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) released the seventh volume of Increasing the Odds: A Series Dedicated to Understanding Gambling Disorder.  Because some clinicians may not screen for gambling disorders in their patient assessments, this edition of Increasing the Odds can serve as an essential training guide necessary for any clinician to recognize, understand and treat gambling disorders.

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Exclusive Interview with NCRG-Funded Researcher Dr. Clayton Neighbors

by: NCRG Staff | Nov 14, 2012

The NCRG blog team recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Clayton Neighbors, director of the Social Influences and Health Behaviors Lab at the University of Houston. Last year, Dr. Neighbors was awarded an NCRG grant to develop and test an online screening and brief intervention (SBI) aimed at reducing gambling-related problems among college students. The SBI will be included on the NCRG’s website, CollegeGambling.org, which was developed as a free resource to help colleges and universities address gambling disorders and responsible gaming on campus.

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Impulsivity at Age Seven Associated with Gambling Problems during Adulthood

by: NCRG Staff | Nov 12, 2012

What if you could examine a group of seven-year-olds and predict which of them were more likely to someday develop a gambling disorder? A recent study in the journal Addiction attempts to do just that by analyzing the association between impulsive behavior at age seven and the development of problem gambling by adulthood. The authors found that, compared to their non-impulsive counterparts, children who exhibited impulsive behaviors at age seven were 3.09 times more likely to report problem gambling behavior in later years. Read on for more details about this investigation, the first to predict gambling problems over a 30-year span.

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NCRG Adds New Members to its Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board

by: NCRG Staff | Nov 8, 2012

The NCRG is excited to welcome three new members to its board of directors and two new members to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). 

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Gambling Disorders Explained: Prevalence vs. Incidence

by: NCRG Staff | Nov 7, 2012

To understand how many people in a given area have a gambling problem, we must first understand how gambling disorders are defined and measured. We addressed some of the foundational questions of definition and measurement in the NCRG’s “Gambling Disorders Explained” post earlier this year. Now that the definitions have been outlined, we will examine two common methods used to discuss diseases in a population: prevalence and incidence.

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Kudos to the Division on Addiction on its 20th Anniversary!

by: NCRG Staff | Nov 2, 2012

Dr. Howard Shaffer, director of the Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate, spoke on the subject of research revolutions in gambling disorders at last year’s National Council on Problem Gambling annual conference. Although he was discussing new trends in gambling research, “revolution” is also an apt term to describe the work of Dr. Shaffer and his colleagues at the Division on Addiction, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

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