Gambling Disorders 360°

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

May is Mental Health Month – A Time to Reflect on the Stigma of Mental Illness and Addiction

by: American Psychological Association, introduction by Christine Reilly | May 12, 2010

Despite scientific advances in understanding mental health problems, the stigma surrounding disorders such as depression, substance-use problems and disordered gambling behavior remains a powerful force in today’s society. Mental Health America is observing Mental Health Month in May to increase public awareness of mental health issues and reduce the stigma and prejudice toward these problems.

Clinicians and patients report that embarrassment and shame can be especially acute for individuals with gambling problems because of the lack of public awareness about how an activity like gambling can be as powerful as a drug for a vulnerable person.

To help us reflect on this important issue, we have reproduced, with permission from the American Psychological Association (APA), the following interview about mental health awareness and stigma with Katherine C. Nordal, Ph.D., executive director for professional practice at the APA.

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NAADAC Names Institute an Approved Education Provider

by: Institute Staff | May 10, 2010

The Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders has been awarded “Approved Education Provider” status by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. This approval identifies continuing education opportunities offered by the Institute as meeting nationally approved standards of education developed for the addiction counseling field and assures participants that continuing education units (CEUs) provided by the Institute will be accepted toward national credentialing by the NAADAC Certification Commission and by many of the individual state licensing and certification bodies as well.

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Interview with Institute Scientific Advisory Board Chair – Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H.

by: Institute Staff | May 7, 2010

The following is an excerpt from the story “Cottler Leads Scientific Advisory Board into New Era,” which originally was published in the spring 2010 edition of Responsible Gaming Quarterly.

Dr. Linda B. CottlerWhen Dr. Linda B. Cottler was first asked to serve as chair of the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders’ Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), she made one point exceedingly clear – “I didn’t want to do this job unless there was something I could really contribute,” she said. Cottler, a professor of epidemiology in psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, is one of the country’s foremost epidemiological scientists and is widely respected throughout the addictions research community for her contributions to the field.

Less than a year since the Institute’s inception, Cottler and her fellow SAB members already have made a significant impact on the field of research on gambling disorders. In February, guided by the SAB, the Institute announced the restructuring of its Project Grants program, which will include doubling the number of grants available through that program (see cover story).

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Researchers Explore How Attitudes, Intentions and Peer Behaviors Influence the Gambling Behavior of College Students

by: Institute Staff | May 6, 2010

A recently published study in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors highlights how gambling behavior among college students can be influenced by their own attitudes and intentions toward gambling, as well as their perceptions of the norms for family and friends regarding gambling.

The 2009 report of the Task Force on College Gambling Policies called for more research to help colleges and universities develop evidence-based programs to prevent and reduce gambling problems among students. This newly published study, “Using the theory of planned behavior to predict gambling behavior,” offers a promising approach for developing responsible gaming initiatives targeted at this population.

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Save the Date for the 11th Annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction

by: Institute Staff | May 4, 2010

Mark your calendar to attend the 11th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and AddictionRedefining Diagnosis, Treatment, Research and Responsible Gaming for the 21st Century.

WHEN: Nov. 14-16, 2010

WHERE: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and Las Vegas Convention Center

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Testing Responsible Gaming Strategies

by: Lia Nower, J.D., Ph.D. and Alex Blaszczynski, Ph.D. | May 3, 2010

Responsible gaming programs are intended to prevent or reduce potential gambling-related harms (Blaszczynski, Ladouceur, & Shaffer, 2004). Examples of such programs range from brochures about disordered gambling to helping gamblers keep track of money wagered through “smart cards.” But are these programs effective? A recently published study by Drs. Lia Nower and Alex Blaszczynski, “Gambling Motivations, Money-Limiting Strategies, and Pre-commitment Preferences of Problem Versus Non-Problem Gamblers,” demonstrates that rigorous scientific research is vital to determining the effectiveness of a responsible gaming strategy. This study also shows that such investigations have to consider the motivations of gamblers who get into trouble and the viability of the program – in this case, the use of smart cards – in real-life gambling situations.

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PODCAST: Understanding and Treating Behavioral Disorders

by: Institute Staff | Apr 30, 2010

In December 2009, Dr. Jon Grant of the University of Minnesota Medical School spoke to a human sexuality class about understanding and treating behavioral disorders.

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Yale Publishes New Study on Associations Between Gambling, Alcohol and Psychiatric Disorders

by: Institute Staff | Apr 27, 2010

A recent study from the Yale Gambling CORE (Center of Research Excellence) published in CNS Spectrums is shedding new light on the relationship between disordered gambling behavior, alcohol-use disorders and other psychiatric disorders. Research has shown that gambling, alcohol and psychiatric disorders tend to co-occur in the same individual (e.g., Kessler et al., 2008); however, few studies have attempted to tease out the associations between these disorders.

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Akron Beacon Journal: NCRG Heads to Cleveland in July to Raise Awareness about Disordered Gambling

by: Institute Staff | Apr 26, 2010

Each year, representatives from the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) and the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders hit the road to raise awareness about disordered gambling. As reported in the Akron Beacon Journal this weekend, our representatives will be heading to Cleveland, Ohio for the NCRG’s fourth annual road tour.

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Institute Grant Deadlines Fast Approaching!

by: Institute Staff | Apr 23, 2010

The Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders offers three types of project grants to support research on gambling disorders, and important deadlines for two of these categories are fast approaching. We are expecting to award more than $300,000 this year to researchers in all stages of their careers through a competitive grant-making process.

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