Youth Gambling Researcher To Be Honored For Pioneering Contributions To The Field

Oct 18, 2005

Washington, D.C. –Dr. Ken Winters, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at the University of Minnesota, will be recognized for his distinguished career in the field of adolescent high risk behaviors with the National Center for Responsible Gaming’s (NCRG) 2005 Senior Investigator Award. Winters was nominated by his peers for his commitment and dedication to addressing youth drug and alcohol abuse and disordered gambling through academic, clinical and research channels.

Winters’ groundbreaking research in the field of addictions has provided considerable insight into identifying both the risk and protective factors associated with youth pathological gamblers and also has led to breakthroughs in understanding the course of early onset gamblers. These findings have significant implications for the prevention and intervention of youth disordered gambling.

“Dr. Winters’ impact in the field of disordered gambling research has been truly pervasive, affecting the way researchers, clinicians and academics worldwide approach their work in this field,” said Dennis Eckart, chairman of the NCRG. “We are honored to recognize his many accomplishments as an outstanding professional, colleague and mentor, and his ongoing contributions to the global understanding and treatment of pathological gambling.”

Recognizing outstanding contributions to the study of gambling disorders, the fourth annual NCRG Scientific Achievement Awards will be presented at a luncheon on Dec. 8 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The awards presentation will take place during the 6th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction, which is sponsored by the NCRG and the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, a program at the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Winters’ early work in assessment strategies included the development of the most widely used instrument to assess gambling severity among adolescents, the SOGS-RA, which paved the way for numerous adolescent prevalence studies. Additionally, his work in understanding the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying gambling and its comorbidity with drug use and abuse has advanced clinical treatment programs for pathological gamblers, as well as the prevention of gambling problems.

In addition to his position at the University of Minnesota, Winters is a senior scientist at the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia. He also has served on a number of prestigious domestic and international committees, and has consulted to governments throughout the world on issues related to adolescent and young adult risky behaviors. A well-published researcher, Winters has co-authored 35 chapters and written 67 referred articles in peer-reviewed journals, including 12 in the Journal of Gambling Studies, the preeminent journal in the field of problem gambling research.

Winters was selected for the 2005 NCRG Senior Investigator Award by an independent committee of distinguished leaders in the field of addictions and gambling research chaired by Joseph Coyle, Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The NCRG, the only national organization devoted exclusively to public education about and funding of peer-reviewed research on disordered gambling, was established in 1996. The NCRG supports the finest peer-reviewed basic and applied research on gambling disorders; encourages the application of new research findings to improve prevention, diagnostic intervention and treatment strategies; and enhances public awareness of pathological and youth gambling. To date, the casino industry and related businesses have committed more than $15 million to this effort, and the NCRG has issued more than $12 million in support of groundbreaking research on gambling disorders. For more information,