A Qualitative Study of Women Who Have Been Problem Gamblers

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Burgess, Eric
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During the past 20 years, there has been significant advancement in our conceptualization of problem gambling behaviour. Despite this progression, there remains a paucity of knowledge about gendered problem gambling behaviour. The purpose of this research was to elucidate the relationship between the female context and female problem gambling behaviour. The study employed qualitative methodology to explore the lived experiences of four female problem gamblers. Inductive content analysis resulted in the establishment of five core themes. A metaphor of self-protection emerged from examination of the core themes. The resultant metaphor suggests that female problem gambling may represent a maladaptive, yet functional self-protective behaviour against thoughts, memories, and feelings related to traumatic experiences. Further, these findings suggest a possible relationship between the metaphor of self-protection, trauma-mediated neurological changes in the brain, and amplified receptivity to gambling stimuli. Further research is required to verify and explore the generalizability of these findings.
Compulsive gamblers , Self-protective behavior , Women gamblers