Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Lincoln Psychology Research into Gambling Addiction and the Link to Childhood Trauma

dice-1157650_1920

Men with problem and pathological gambling addictions are more likely to have suffered childhood traumas including physical abuse or witnessing violence in the home, according to new research.

Psychologists examined responses in a survey of more than 3,000 men on a variety of life factors, and found that just over a quarter who had probable pathological gambling problems had witnessed violence in the home as a child. Ten per cent also reported being physically abused in childhood, and a further seven per cent said they had suffered a life-threatening injury.

Problem gamblers – those who have not yet escalated to a pathological problem, but are deemed to have a more serious addiction than non-problem gamblers – also reported higher rates of childhood trauma, with just under 23 per cent saying they had witnessed violence at home, and nine per cent experiencing physical abuse. In comparison, just eight per cent of non-problem gamblers witnessed domestic violence when they were a child, and less than four per cent had suffered abuse.

The study, led by the University of Lincoln, UK, also found that 35 per cent of pathological gamblers had suffered serious money problems as adults, 29 per cent had been convicted of a criminal offence, and almost 20 per cent had experienced relationship breakdowns. In comparison, for non-problem gamblers the figures came in at just 12, 9, and 10 per cent respectively.

The pattern of people who had previously suffered traumas in childhood or stressful events as an adult becoming pathological and problem gamblers remained even when other associated risk factors, such as substance abuse and homelessness, were accounted for. Interestingly, the more serious the gambling problem, the higher the percentage of reported childhood trauma or life stressors as an adult in all but two questions.

Researchers say the findings highlight a need for gambling treatment services to include routine screening for traumatic life events or substance abuse, so that treatments can be better tailored.

Forensic psychologist Dr Amanda Roberts, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology, led the study. She said: “The links between gambling problems, trauma and life stressors have been known to exist for some time, but understanding the extent of these relationships will help early intervention and better treatment.

“We have found that among men in the United Kingdom, disordered gambling remains uniquely associated with trauma and life stressors in childhood and adulthood after adjusting for alcohol and drug dependence.

“Probable pathological gamblers and problem gamblers reported injuries, marital difficulties, homelessness, money problems and criminality more often than non/non-problem gamblers.  Taken as a whole, this suggests that disordered gambling does not occur on its own, but that it is perhaps symptomatic of other social, behavioural and psychological problems of some individuals.

“General experiences of stressful life events, such as job loss or homelessness in adulthood are not usually characterised by the same extreme psychological responses; this distinction is important, since associations with traumatic events might indicate increased vulnerability to developing gambling problems, while associations with other types of stressful life event, such as job loss, might indicate consequential harms associated with gambling.¡

The results build on Dr Roberts previous study which found that men who gamble are more likely to act violently towards others, with the most addicted gamblers the most prone to serious violence.

The new findings have been published in the journal Addictive Behaviours.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Capabilities pathway questions for service user / carers

Mo Ray, the Research Director for the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln, is conducting a study and would like the feedback of members of the public who are service users or carers for older people. Attached is a feedback form containing a few very short series of questions for the completion of service users / carers in relation to the capabilities for social work with older people. If you are able to spend a few moments of your time to read the attached sheet which details the study, followed by just a few questions we would be very grateful. The deadline for any responses is 25th March 2017.

“My name is Mo Ray and I am the Research Director for the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln. I am a member of a special interest group which has been trying to raise the profile and importance of high-quality social work with older people. The Chief Social Worker for Adults has now asked the British Association of Social Work (BASW) to develop a set of capabilities for social work with older people. They will be developed in conjunction with older citizens, older people who use services, carers and other people such as social workers. 
 
We have been asked to comment on a number of questions and very much hope that you will be able to take a few minutes to answer them, based on your experiences and views. There are no right or wrong answers. They will be used to inform the initial development of the capabilities.
 
We are hopeful that BASW will host a forum event in Lincolnshire to launch the draft capabilities in the summer and we will hope to invite interested members to come along to that event.”
We welcome your feedback via email, by either writing your response to the questions on the sheet provided or by sending an email stating the question you are responding to. Responses should be directed to either mray@lincoln.ac.uk lpicksley@lincoln.ac.uk . If you would prefer to print off the attached and write your response, a freepost return address is available by popping NEA936 on the address line.
Please download the questionnaire here:

Couples on the rocks find happiness by ‘sticking it out’

ee8a4223c2ef7fb056c28ef6cb40ea70-a2b121b3bfe31d4809d715d8d88e1b0d

Report findings show that over two thirds of parents who were unhappy following the arrival of their first born were content together 10 years on, going against the notion that people put up with unhappy relationships for the sake of their offspring.

Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation and Steve McKay of the University of Lincoln looked at data from 10,000 parents who participated in the Millennium Cohort Study, and focused on parents who reported being unhappy not long after the birth of their first child during the period around the year 2000. The couples were asked about how they feel again 11 years later, with seven out of 10 still together and only one in 10 of the couples who were still together continuing to feel sadness. Furthermore, over a quarter of the parents who previously felt their relationship was in trouble at the beginning but stayed together later described themselves as “extremely happy”.

From the results, Benson and McKay noted that those pairs who cohabited and were on the brink of splitting up were over twice as likely as married couples to actually break-up. However, they stressed the rewards to come if parents stayed together through the difficult times.

“Contrary to popular belief, staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you ever do,” Benson explained. “Most marriages have their unhappy moments, but apart from the fortunately extremely rare cases where the relationship involves abuse, most couples can work through the difficulties to be happy later on.”

Backing these findings was Marriage Foundation head Sir Paul Coleridge, who describes the results as “myth-busting” as it proves a couple going through a rocky time as they adjust to parenthood doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t make it through to the other end.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Welcome

LittleWorld-BrayfordCampus1Welcome to the College of Social Science blog, a project to create a space to share news and information with the staff and students from the college as well as the rest of the university.

If you have something you would like to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk