Games and Gambling Involvement Among Casino Patrons.
ABSTRACT A growing literature is addressing the nature of the relationships among gambling activity, gambling involvement, and gambling-related problems. This research suggests that among the general population, compared to playing any specific game, gambling involvement is a better predictor of gambling-related problems. To date, researchers have not examined these relationships among casino patrons, a population that differs from the general population in a variety of important ways. A survey of 1160 casino patrons at two Las Vegas resort casinos allowed us to determine relationships between the games that patrons played during the 12 months before their casino visit, the games that patrons played during their casino visit, and patrons' self-perceived history of gambling-related problems. Results indicate that playing specific gambling games onsite predicted (i.e., statistically significant odds ratios ranging from .5 to 4.51) self-perceived gambling-related problems. However, after controlling for involvement, operationally defined as the number of games played during the current casino visit and self-reported gambling frequency during the past 12 months, the relationships between games and gambling-related problems disappeared or were attenuated (i.e., odds ratios no longer statistically significant). These results extend the burgeoning literature related to gambling involvement and its relationship to gambling-related problems.
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ABSTRACT: The family history (FH) method, which involves the use of an informant to gather information about one or more family members, has been used in a number of previous gambling studies. However, no evaluation of the reliability and validity has been conducted on the use of the FH method for assessing pathological gambling (PG) and gambling involvement. The current study examined the test-retest and inter-rater reliability and the validity of the FH method for assessing PG and gambling involvement among a large community-based sample of adult twins (N = 4,764) reporting on their parents, co-twins, and spouses. The test-retest and inter-rater reliabilities of the FH reports of PG were high. Validity of the FH reports of PG was low, primarily because of substantial underestimation of pathology (low sensitivity). The test-retest and inter-rater reliabilities of the FH reports of gambling involvement (ever gambled, ever gambled monthly, and ever gambled weekly) were moderate and the sensitivities were quite high. The results of this study support the use of the FH method for studies of PG and gambling involvement. A number of potential explanations for the low sensitivity of FH reports of PG are elaborated.Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 06/2010; 24(2):292-9. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The majority of older adults seek depression treatment in primary care. Despite impressive efforts to integrate depression treatment into primary care, depression often remains undetected. The overall goal of the present study was to compare a single item screening for depression to existing depression screening tools. A cross sectional sample of 153 older primary care patients. Participants completed several depression-screening measures (e.g. a single depression screen, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Major Depression Inventory, Visual Analogue Scale). Measures were evaluated against a depression diagnosis made by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Overall, 3.9% of the sample was diagnosed with depression. The most notable finding was that the single-item question, 'do you think you suffer from depression?' had as good or better sensitivity (83%) than all other screens. Nonetheless, its specificity of 83% suggested that it has to be followed up by a through diagnostic interview. Additional sensitivity analyses concerning the use of a single depression item taken directly from the depression screening measures supported this finding. An easy way to detect depression in older primary care patients would be asking the single question, 'do you think you suffer from depression?'International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 08/2009; 25(5):497-502. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in and physician support for the use of single-item screeners for problem drinking. In a representative sample of U.S. adults (n = 43,093) and within selected subgroups, past-year frequency of drinking 5+/4+ drinks and maximum drinks consumed on any day were evaluated as screeners for past-year alcohol dependence, any alcohol use disorder (AUD), and any AUD or hazardous drinking, using standard measures of screening performance. AUDs were defined according to DSM-IV criteria. Hazardous drinking was defined as consuming >14 drinks/wk or 5+ drinks on any day for men and >7 drinks/wk or 4+ drinks on any day for women. Optimal cutpoints for both screeners varied across population subgroups, and these variations should be taken into account in order to maximize screening performance. At the optimal cutpoints for the total population, the sensitivity and specificity of maximum drinks were 89% and 82% for dependence at > or =5 drinks, 90% and 79% for any AUD at > or =4 drinks, and 90% and 96% for any AUD or hazardous drinking at > or =4 drinks. Comparable values of sensitivity and specificity for 5+/4+ frequency were 90% and 83% at > or =3 times a year, 87% and 82% at > or =once a year, and 88% and 100% at > or =once a year, respectively. Specificity was lower when only past-year drinkers were considered. The 5+/4+ frequency screener yielded fairly low sensitivity in predicting alcohol problems among the elderly and among Blacks. Results supported a past-year reference period for frequency of 5+/4+ drinks and substantiated gender- and age-specific thresholds for defining risk drinking. Both of the single-item screeners performed nearly on a par with the AUDIT-C and have potential for use in primary and emergency care settings.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 11/2009; 34(2):364-74. · 3.42 Impact Factor