NCRG Conference: Gambling And Diverse Populations – Issues In Prevalence, Treatment And Responsible Gaming

The11thannual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addictionheld a plenary session today that looked at problem gambling among diverse populations, as problem and pathological gambling prevalence rates vary between racial/ethnic groups. One of the presenters, Renee Cunningham-Williams, Ph.D., M.P.E, LCSW, associate professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, applauded the NCRG and the Institute for holding a session on problem gambling and diverse populations, as it isn’t a topic that is frequently presented at conferences.

Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, began the session by discussing a study titled “Disordered Gambling Among Racial and Ethnic Groups in the US: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions,” which was published inCNS Spectrums. This study was the first national study to focus on racial/ethnic differences in gambling disorders. Researchers investigated the prevalence and conditional prevalence of gambling disorders and compared sociodemographic and clinical characteristics among disordered gamblers from racial/ethnic groups.

The study concluded:

  • Prevalence of disordered gambling differs across racial/ethnic groups.
  • African-Americans and Hispanics face increased levels of socioeconomic adversity than non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Despite social adversity, African-Americans and Hispanics are less likely to present substance use disorders.
  • Similarities in symptom patterns, course and treatment seeking rates suggest no racial or cultural impact on the presentation of pathological gambling.

Following Dr. Blanco, Dr. Cunningham-Williams discussed the effectiveness of screening and diagnosis methods of gambling disorders for minority populations. She presented a study titled, “Racial/Ethnic Variation in the Reliability of DSM-IV Pathological Gambling Disorder,” which was published in theJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

The study aimed to assess racial/ethnic variation in the reliability of self-reported lifetime pathological gambling disorder. The researchers recruited 15- to 85-year-old Caucasians and African (American/other minorities) who had gambled more than five times in their lifetimes. The study participants were interviewed two times, with interview sessions held one week apart. Dr. Cunningham-Williams found that prevalence symptoms of gambling disorders tend to decrease during the second interview, and African-Americans/other minorities of mid-age or over 65 provided less reliable answers than Caucasians. When asked why there was a discrepancy, study participants stated that they misunderstood the question during the first interview, did not pay attention to the question or the interviewer miscoded the answer.

Dr. Blanco’s studyandDr. Cunningham-Williams’ studyare available online.

Continue to visitGambling Disorders 360°for daily updates, on-site reporting about the sessions and audio interviews from leading researchers and industry representatives.

NCRG staffConference on Gambling and Addictionconference 2010gambling addictiongambling researchNCRG ConferenceNCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction