Investigating gambling-related harms
Research on gambling and problem gambling has struggled to conceptualise exposures and outcomes. By comparison with studies of alcohol use, comparable areas of research are underdeveloped, including:
- gambling participation and future harms
- moderate gambling
- independent measures of exposures and harms
- predictors of gambling participation
- natural history of gambling participation.
One striking consequence of the limited research endeavour is that little progress has been made towards identifying responsible gambling guidelines that would be the equivalent of guidelines for responsible drinking.
One part of the complexity of gambling participation is the variety of gambling activities (the types of exposure). There is no gambling equivalent of a standard drink. Different forms of gambling are very different in terms of their prevalence in the population, the demographic and socio-economic profile of people who participate, and the likelihood of problem gambling and specific gambling-related harms.
Findings from general population studies, including recent ACT gambling prevalence surveys, illustrate the value of participation measures for the identification of individuals at increased risk of gambling-related harms and the potential for developing responsible gambling guidelines.
Professor of Family Health & Wellbeing at the ANU (Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute) and Director of the Centre for Gambling Research
Bryan Rodgers is Professor of Family Health & Wellbeing at the ANU (Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute) and Director of the Centre for Gambling Research. His training background is in psychology and epidemiology. Research interests have revolved around lifecourse approaches to mental health and wellbeing, covering a broad range of problems (depression, anxiety, psychoses, eating disorders, substance misuse and problem gambling). A theme across these topics has been the reciprocal relationships between family life and personal wellbeing. Bryan has been a continuing member of the Consortium Advisory Group for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, a past member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the Household, Income & Labour Dynamics of Australia (HILDA) Survey and is Independent Scientific Advisor for the DVA Family Studies Program (focusing on Vietnam Veterans and their families).