Research Review

Title: The role of medication in the treatment of pathological gambling: Bridging the gap between research and practice
Issue: 10
Author: Richard J. Rosenthal
Abstract: After reviewing the literature on the pharmacotherapy of pathological gambling, the author discusses treatment strategies and areas for future research. The clearest indication for medicating the pathological gambler is for the treatment of comorbid disorders, primarily depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, there are difficulties in diagnosing the dually disordered gambler. Other current pharmacological approaches involve the use of medication to treat specific symptoms, traits, or symptom clusters; to make negative affects more tolerable; and to reduce cravings. Future approaches will be directed at subgroups of gamblers. This may include genetic profiling, paired with recognition of neurotransmitter deficits, and the identification of clinical syndromes and subtypes. The author also discusses the kindling hypothesis as it may pertain to pathological gambling. The presence of kindling would make a strong case for earlier and more aggressive use of medication and for long-term maintenance to prevent relapse
File: Richard-J.-Rosenthal
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.10
Title: Gambling and the human condition: Transcending the deviant mystique
Author: Scott Grills
Issue: 10
Abstract: Henry Lesieur’s (1977) The Chase belongs to a rather elite group of ethnographic texts. It is a volume that transcends its substantive area to elucidate generic aspects of the human condition. In this essay I encourage a reframing and re- reading of the text in light of generic social process theory. Lesieur’s work places gambling in the context of community life and, by so doing, resists what Prus and Grills (2003) have characterized as the deviant mystique.
File: Scott-Grills-Download
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.5
Title: Adolescents with gambling problems: A synopsis of our current knowledge
Issue: 10
Authors: Jeffrey L. Derevensky & Rina Gupta
Abstract: It’s been 25 years since Henry Lesieur’s seminal research on understanding compulsive gambling was published. While still in its infancy, the field of gambling research has evolved and greatly added to a better understanding of this complex behavior, its measurement, its social and familial costs, ways of minimizing and preventing gambling problems, and methods of treating individuals with gambling problems. For most adolescents and adults gambling remains a form of entertainment without serious negative consequences. Yet, adolescent pathological gamblers, like their adult counterparts and independent of the negative consequences resulting from their excessive gambling, continue to chase their losses, exhibit a preoccupation with gambling, and have an impaired ability to stop gambling in spite of repeated attempts and their desire to do so. Our current empirical knowledge of youth gambling problems is reviewed and recommendations for future research are provided.
File: Jeffrey-L.-Derevensky-Rina-Gupta
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.3


Title: Chasing – It’s not just about the money: Clinical reflections
Issue: 10
Author: Loreen Rugle
Abstract: Henry Lesieur’s book, The Chase: Career of the Compulsive Gambler (1984), focuses on the financial aspects of pathological gamblers’ increasingly desperate need to win or get even. This essay suggests that the concept of “chasing” can be extended to explore how gamblers chase in their attempt to meet emotional and spiritual needs. Clinical case examples are presented and implications for treatment are discussed.
File: Loreen-Rugle
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.11
Title: Sometimes you’re just lucky: A memoir
Issue: 10
Author: Sheila B. Blume
File: Sheila-B.-Blume-Download
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.2


Title: Of time and The Chase: Lifetime versus past-year measures of pathological gambling
Authors: Marianna Toce-Gerstein & Dean R. Gerstein
Issue: 10
Objective: This analysis tested whether past-year measures can be shown to have methodological advantages over lifetime measures of pathological gambling based on DSM-IV criteria.
Methods: Two stratified random-sample surveys (n=2,417, n=530) of gambling behavior and correlates were conducted with community-based U.S. adults. A fully structured questionnaire, administered by trained interviewers, screened for lifetime and past-year prevalence of the 10 DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling.
Sample: The study sample comprised 1,216 gamblers who were administered the pathological gambling screen, with particular attention given to the 400 gamblers who reported one or more gambling-related problems.
Results: Pathological gambling criteria as measured by lifetime items showed greater consistency with past-year items than was true for other levels of gambling problems. Neither lifetime nor past-year measures were positively related to the age of the respondent.
Conclusion: These findings deny the presumptively greater accuracy of past-year over lifetime measures of pathological gambling based on DSM-IV criteria in prevalence studies in the general population. In view of greater conceptual fidelity to DSM-IV concepts, lifetime measures appear preferable to past-year.
File: Marianna-Toce-Gerstein-Dean-R.-Gerstein
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.4


Title: Prevention of gambling among youth: Increasing knowledge and modifying attitudes toward gambling
Authors: Marie-Pier Lavoie Robert Ladouceur
Issue: 10
Abstract: Research shows that gambling is a popular activity among youth. The more young people become involved in these activities, the more likely they are to develop irrational thoughts and habits related to gambling. In this study, 273 French- speaking students in grades 5 and 6 helped to test a video designed to (a) increase knowledge about gambling and (b) correct inaccurate knowledge. The effectiveness of the video was evaluated using two experimental conditions and one control condition. Analysis indicated that the video significantly increased gambling knowledge and decreased errors in attitudes toward gambling. The implications of these results for the prevention of gambling problems are discussed.
File: Marie-Pier-Lavoie-Robert-Ladouceur-Download
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.7
Title: Blackjack playing strategies and beliefs: A view from the field
Author: Will Bennis
Issue: 10
Abstract: A great deal of research on the psychology of gambling has been conducted that has looked at non-experienced gamblers in laboratory or classroom settings. Yet there has been comparatively little research examining the practices and beliefs of actual gamblers within their natural gambling context. The current research contributes to the naturalistic study of casino gamblers. It reports the results of 10 weeks of ethnographic participant observation conducted in 1999 in two Indiana riverboat casinos located about 1⁄2 hour from Chicago. The research examines blackjack players’ strategies for and beliefs about winning as explained and understood by the gamblers themselves. It uses blackjack’s basic strategy and card counting as organizing principles around which to discuss and assess these strategies and beliefs.
File: Will-Bennis
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.1


Title: Fifteen years of problem gambling prevalence research: What do we know? Where do we go?
Authors: Rachel A. Volberg
Issue: 10
Abstract: This paper charts the rapid growth of problem gambling prevalence research in North America and internationally. Looking beyond the overall prevalence of problem gambling in the general population, the results of these studies support the notion of a link between the expansion of legal gambling opportunities and the prevalence of problem gambling as well as the notion that the characteristics of problem gamblers change in response to changes in the availability of specific types of gambling. The results of these studies also challenge existing concepts and definitions of problem gambling. In the future, it will be important to improve how problem gambling prevalence research is done. Such work is likely to include changes in how we measure gambling problems as well as requiring us to take steps to overcome obstacles in achieving representative samples of the population and obtaining valid and accurate information.
File: Rachel-A.-Volberg-1-1Download
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.12


Title: A festschrift in honor of Henry R. Lesieur
Author: Rena M. Nora
Issue: 10
File: Rena-M.-Nora-Download
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.8

Research Theory

Title: Gambling as activity: Subcultural life-worlds, personal intrigues and persistent involvements
Author: Robert Prus
Issue: 10
Abstract: Although gambling is often envisioned as a disreputable if not also a personally and socially destructive realm of endeavor, this paper approaches gambling as a realm of activity in a more generic, pluralist sense. Employing Henry Lesieur’s (1977) portrayal of gambling in The Chase as an ethnographic focal point, this

paper not only attempts to “permeate the deviant mystique” that surrounds gambling, but also endeavors to provide a set of conceptual, methodological and textual resources that could inform the study of gambling or other involvements of a parallel sort. Thus, while appreciating the relevance of Henry Lesieur’s The Chase for the study of gambling more specifically, this statement also draws attention to the contributions (envisioning Henry Lesieur’s text as a prototype) that more sustained and detailed ethnographic studies of gambling as activity can make to the broader social science enterprise. In a related way, whereas more intense gambling often is explained as an individual quality (or affliction), this statement examines gambling more centrally as a subcultural process. Thus, gambling is approached as situated, career, fascinated, and persistent instances of activity that can be adequately understood only within a socially constituted life- world
File: Robert-Prus-Download
DOI: 10.4309/jgi.2004.10.9