The protective role of religiosity against problem gamblers: findings from a five-year prospective study

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Mutti-Packer, Seema
Hodgins, David C.
Williams, Robert J.
Thege, Konkoly
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BioMed Central
Background: Little research has examined the potential protective influence of religiosity against problem gambling; a common addictive behavior, and one with a host of associated negative health and social outcomes. The aims of this study were to examine (1) the potential longitudinal association between religiosity and problem gambling among adults and (2) the potential moderating role of gender on this association. Methods: Data were from five waves of the Quinte Longitudinal Study (QLS), between 2006 and 2010. Participants were Canadian adults from Belleville, Ontario, Canada (n = 4121). A multiple group (based on gender) latent growth curve analysis was conducted to examine the overall trajectory of problem gambling severity. Two models were tested; the first examined the influence of past-year religious service attendance, and the second examined an overall measure of personal religiosity on the trajectory of problem gambling. The Problem and Pathological Gambling Measure (PPGM) was used as a continuous measure. The Rohrbaugh-Jessor Religiosity Scale (RJRS) was used to assess past-year frequency of religious service attendance and personal religiosity. Religious affiliation (Protestant, Catholic, Atheist/Agnostic, Other, Prefer not to say) was also included in the models. Results: At baseline, higher frequency of past-year religious service attendance (males: β= −0.54, females: β= −0.68, p < 0.001 for both) and greater overall personal religiosity (males: β= −0.17, females: β= −0.13, p < 0.001 for both) were associated with lower PPGM scores. The moderating effect of gender indicated that the influence of past-year religious service attendance was greater among females (χ2diff(44) = 336.8, p < 0.001); however, the effect of overall religiosity was greater among males (χ2diff(36) = 213.4, p < 0.001). Findings were mixed with respect to religious affiliation. No measures of religiosity or religious affiliation were associated with the overall decline in problem gambling severity. Conclusions: These findings suggest that religiosity may act as a static protective factor against problem gambling severity but may play a less significant role in predicting change in problem gambling severity over time.
Sherpa Romeo green journal. Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) applies
Trajectory of gambling , Adults , Problem gambling , Religion , Religious affiliation , Longitudinal , Latent growth curve modeling
Mutti-Packer, S., Hodgins, D. C., Williams, R. J., & Thege, B. K. (2017). The protective role of religiosity against problem gambling: Findings from a five-year prospective study. BMC Psychiatry, 17, 356. DOI 10.1186/s12888-017-1518-5