Canadian counselling psychology graduate student knowledge of women problem gamblers

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Becker, Mackenzie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Problem gambling affects many people. Certain individual characteristics, like gender, may predispose individuals to become problem gamblers (PGs) at higher rates than others. For instance, women problem gamblers (WPGs) present with different gambling motivations than their male counterparts. Traditionally, gambling research has focused on males, leading to a dearth of WPG information and a potential knowledge deficiency among practitioners working with WPGs. Gaps in training should be addressed to improve the experiences of WPGs seeking treatment. This study aimed to ascertain the knowledge and training that graduate students in Canadian counselling psychology programs receive regarding problematic gambling, specifically gender differences. An online survey was administered in order to address five research questions focusing on demographics; knowledge and training for alcohol use, gambling, and gender differences in PGs; competence and comfort levels in working with PGs; and willingness to learn more about PGs, all with a specific focus on WPGs. Overall, 104 participants completed the survey. Few participants reported a program training focus on addiction (21.2%), alcohol use disorders (12.5%), with none on gambling, and little on gender differences among PGs. Less than 10% reported feeling trained to work with PGs and WPGs. Those who had engaged in extra training reported increased competence, comfort, and preparedness. Many indicated a desire for additional training, which could result in more effective and tailored treatments for gambling populations and ultimately ameliorate the experiences of WPGs. Future directions include additional surveys, challenging the view that PGs are homogenous, and developing training materials for gambling populations.
problem gambling , women problem gamblers , gender , tailored treatments , counselling psychology , graduate student knowledge , training