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Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 233–249 | Cite as

The prevalence of problem and pathological gambling: A critical analysis

  • Michael B. Walker
  • Mark G. Dickerson
Articles

Abstract

Prevalence of pathological gambling refers to the percentage of cases of pathological gambling occurring in the community at a given time. Prevalence studies conducted in different principalities throughout the world are reviewed, and it is found that none of them conforms to this definition of prevalence. The major error in all but the most recent surveys conducted is identified as the use of questions which ask whether gambling-related problems have ever occurred rather than whether they are currently occurring. This error will lead to an over-estimation of the prevalence of pathological gambling in society. The second major error identified in nearly all studies involves the accuracy of the screens being used to assess whether or not an individual is a pathological gambler. Concerns about the efficiency of the South Oaks Gambling Screen have not yet been satisfactorily resolved. None-the-less, the widespread use of the South Oaks Gambling Screen has made a valuable contribution to international comparisons of prevalence studies. Future work that explores the emerging relationship between levels of personal expenditure on gambling, types of gambling product and gambling-related problems are recommended.

Keywords

Critical Analysis Recent Survey Prevalence Study Pathological Gambling International Comparison 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael B. Walker
    • 1
  • Mark G. Dickerson
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Institute for Gambling ResearchUniversity of Western SydneyMacarthurAustralia

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