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Abstract

Gambling Disorder (GD) is an impactful behavioural addiction for which there appear to be underpinning genetic contributors. Twin studies show significant GD heritability results and intergenerational transmission show high rates of transmission. Recent developments in polygenic and multifactorial risk prediction modelling provide promising opportunities to enable early identification and intervention for at risk individuals. People with GD often have significant delays in diagnosis and subsequent help-seeking that can compromise their recovery. In this paper we advocate for more research into the utility of polygenic and multifactorial risk modelling in GD research and treatment programs and rigorous evaluation of its costs and benefits.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Nicki A. Dowling
,
Carrie Ewin
,
George J. Youssef
,
Stephanie S. Merkouris
,
Aino Suomi
,
Shane A. Thomas
, and
Alun C. Jackson

Background and aims

Few studies have investigated the association between problem gambling (PG) and violence extending into the family beyond intimate partners. This study aimed to explore the association between PG and family violence (FV) in a population-representative sample. It was hypothesized that: (a) PG would be positively associated with FV, even after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and comorbidities and (b) these relationships would be significantly exacerbated by substance use and psychological distress. A secondary aim was to explore whether gender moderated these relationships.

Methods

Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted with a population-representative sample of 4,153 Australian adults.

Results

Moderate-risk (MR)/problem gamblers had a 2.73-fold increase in the odds of experiencing FV victimization (21.3%; 95% CI: 13.1–29.4) relative to non-problem gamblers (9.4%; 95% CI: 8.5–10.4). They also had a 2.56-fold increase in the odds of experiencing FV perpetration (19.7%; 95% CI: 11.8–27.7) relative to non-problem gamblers (9.0%; 95% CI: 8.0–10.0). Low-risk gamblers also had over a twofold increase in the odds of experiencing FV victimization (20.0%; 95% CI: 14.0–26.0) and perpetration (19.3%; 95% CI: 13.5–25.1). These relationships remained robust for low-risk gamblers, but were attenuated for MR/problem gamblers, after adjustment for substance use and psychological distress. MR/problem gamblers had a greater probability of FV victimization, if they reported hazardous alcohol use; and low-risk gamblers had a greater probability of FV perpetration if they were female.

Discussion and conclusion

These findings provide further support for routine screening, highlight the need for prevention and intervention programs, and suggest that reducing alcohol use may be important in these efforts.

Open access