Gambling is an underrecognized problem from both a clinical and a public health point of view. It is not uncommon for an adolescent or adult to participate in one form of gambling or another on a regular basis, be it the lottery, card playing for money, sports wagering, or gambling on electronic gaming devices. Nor is it uncommon for such participation to reach excessive or destructive proportions, with negative effects on the individual's psychological, social, economic, and family life. The results of the National Research Council's 2000 review of empirical studies suggest that 85% of adolescents report having gambled during their lifetime, with 73% of adolescents reporting having gambled in the past year. Despite gains in knowledge concerning the correlates and risk factors associated with severe gambling problems among youth during the past ten years, a general lack of public and parental awareness exists. This raises serious mental health and public policy concerns.
Written from an international perspective, this book covers gambling research and interventions in the following categories: role of helpline services; a Jungian-transpersonal approach to treatment; cognitive therapy for problem gambling; pharmacological interventions for problem gambling; desensitization/biofeedback as treatment for problem gambling; binge gambling; pathological gambling; past and contemporary aboriginal peoples' experiences with gambling; problem-gambling counselor certification; measurement of outcomes in problem gambling treatment; overview of teen gambling-related issues from leading researchers.
About the authors
Masood Zangeneh is Professor, Communication and General Education Department, Centennial College, and Research Analyst, Psychiatric Neurogenetics Department, Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is also editor-in-chief of International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.
Alex Blaszczynski is Chair of Psychology, University of Sydney; Chief, Department of Medical Psychology, Westmead Hospital; and Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales, School of Psychiatry. In 1995 he received the United States of America National Council on Problem Gambling Board of Directors Award for outstanding contribution to research on pathological gambling. In 2000, he received an award from the Latin American Psychiatric Association Honor Committee for contribution to the study of the impact of gambling.