Christensen, Darren

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Item
    Predictors of gambling and problem gambling in Canada
    (Springer, 2021) Williams, Robert J.; Leonard, Carrie A.; Belanger, Yale D.; Christensen, Darren R.; el-Guebaly, Nady; Hodgins, David C.; McGrath, Daniel S.; Nicoll, Fiona; Smith, Garry J.; Stevens, Rhys M. G.
    Objectives:The purpose of this study is to provide an updated profile of gamblers and problem gamblers in Canada and to identify characteristics most strongly associated with problem gambling. Methods: An assessment of gambling participation and problem gambling was included in the 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey and administered to 23,952 individuals 18 years and older. Descriptive statistics provided a demographic profile for each type of gambling involvement as well as category of gambler (non-gambler, non-problem gambler, at-risk gambler,problem gambler). A logistic regression identified characteristics that best distinguished problem from non-problem gamblers. Results: Gambling participation and problem gambling both varied as a function of gender, income, educational attainment, and race/ethnicity. However, multivariate analysis identified electronic gambling machine (EGM) participation to be the primary predictor of problem gambling status, with race/ethnicity, presence of a mood disorder, male gender, casino table game participation, older age, a greater level of smoking, participation in speculative financial activity, instant lottery participation, lower household income, and lottery or raffle ticket participation providing additional predictive power. Provincial EGM density and EGM participation rates are also very strong predictors of provincial rates of at-risk and problem gambling. Conclusion: Problem gambling has a biopsychosocial etiology, determined by personal vulnerability factors combined with the presence of riskier types of gambling such as EGMs. Effective prevention requires a multifaceted approach, but constraints on the availability and operation of EGMs would likely have the greatest single public health benefit.
  • Item
    Gambling and problem gambling in Canada in 2018: prevalence and changes since 2002
    (Sage, 2020) Williams, Robert J.; Leonard, Carrie A.; Belanger, Yale D.; Christensen, Darren R.; el-Guebaly, Nady; Hodgins, David C.; McGrath, Daniel S.; Nicoll, Fiona; Stevens, Rhys M. G.
    Objective The purpose of this study was to provide an updated profile of gambling and problem gambling in Canada and to examine how the rates and pattern of participation compare to 2002. Method An assessment of gambling and problem gambling was included in the 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey and administered to 24,982 individuals aged 15 and older. The present analyses selected for adults (18+). Results A total of 66.2% of people reported engaging in some type of gambling in 2018, primarily lottery and/or raffle tickets, the only type in which the majority of Canadians participate. There are some significant inter-provincial differences, with perhaps the most important one being the higher rate of electronic gambling machine (EGM) participation in Manitoba and Saskatchewan The overall pattern of gambling in 2018 is very similar to 2002, although participation is generally much lower in 2018, particularly for EGMs and bingo. Only 0.6% of the population were identified as problem gamblers in 2018, with an additional 2.7% being at-risk gamblers. There is no significant inter-provincial variation in problem gambling rates. The inter-provincial pattern of problem gambling in 2018 is also very similar to what was found in 2002 with the main difference being a 45% decrease in the overall prevalence of problem gambling. Conclusions Gambling and problem gambling have both decreased in Canada from 2002 to 2018, although the provincial patterns are quite similar between the two time periods. Several mechanisms have likely collectively contributed to these declines. Decreases have also been reported in several other western countries in recent years and have occurred despite the expansion of legal gambling opportunities, suggesting a degree of inoculation or adaptation in the population.
  • Item
    Couples seeking CCT treatment for alcohol and gambling problems in a randomized trial
    (University of Lethbridge, 2017) Lee, Bonnie K.; Shi, Yanjun; Gaelzer, Jessica; Awosoga, Olu A.; Christensen, Darren R.
  • Item
    An examination of a proposed DSM-IV pathological gambling hierarchy in a treatment seeking population: similarities with substance dependence and evidence for three classification systems
    (Human Sciences Press, 2014) Christensen, Darren R.; Jackson, Alun C.; Dowling, Nicki A.; Volberg, Rachel A.; Thomas, Shane
    Toce-Gerstein et al. (2003) investigated the distribution of DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th edition) pathological gambling criteria endorsement in a U.S. community sample for those people endorsing a least one of the DSM-IV criteria (n=399). They proposed a hierarchy of gambling disorders where endorsement of 1-2 criteria were deemed ‘At-Risk’, 3-4 ‘Problem gamblers’, 5-7 ‘Low Pathological’, and 8-10 ‘High Pathological’ gamblers. This article examines these claims in a larger Australian treatment seeking population. Data from 4349 clients attending specialist problem gambling services were assessed for meeting the ten DSM-IV pathological gambling criteria. Results found higher overall criteria endorsement frequencies, three components, a direct relationship between criteria endorsement and gambling severity, clustering of criteria similar to the Toce-Gerstein et al. taxonomy, high accuracy scores for numerical and criteria specific taxonomies, and also high accuracy scores for dichotomous pathological gambling diagnoses. These results suggest significant complexities in the frequencies of criteria reports and relationships between criteria.