Skip to main content
Log in

Motivators for Change and Barriers to Help-Seeking in Australian Problem Gamblers

  • Published:
Journal of Gambling Studies Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Although prevalence studies consistently indicate that many thousands of Australians experience gambling-related problems, only a relatively small proportion of these people seek professional help. This study examines the principal motivations for, and impediments to, help-seeking in a sample of 77 problem gamblers recruited from agencies and the general community. The results indicated that profession help-seeking is predominantly crisis-driven rather than being motived by a gradual recognition of problematic behaviour. Shame, denial and social factors were identified as the most significant barriers to change rather than a lack of knowledge, or dislike of, treatment agencies. The value of early interventions including the screening of gamblers in routine medical consultations and partner support strategies is discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • C. Allcock M. G. Dickerson (1986) The guide to good gambling Social Sciences Press Sydney

    Google Scholar 

  • J. G. Barber (2002) Social work with addictions EditionNumber2 New York University Press New York

    Google Scholar 

  • M. H. Christensen C. A. Patsdaughter L. M. Babington (2001) ArticleTitleHealth care providers’ experiences with problem gamblers Journal of Gambling Studies 17 71–79 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3MnltFSlsA%3D%3D Occurrence Handle11705018

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Custer R.L., Milt H. (1985). When luck runs out. Facts on File: New York

  • M. Eckhardt (1998) Tasmanian Break Even Problem Gambling Services: A review of the 14 months of Break Even operations in Tasmania July 1997–30 September 1998 Tasmanian Gaming Commission Hobart

    Google Scholar 

  • D. C. Hodgins S. R. Currie N. el-Guebaly (2001) ArticleTitleMotivational enhancement and self-help treatments for problem gambling Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 69 50–57 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3M3lvF2nsg%3D%3D Occurrence Handle11302277

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • D. C. Hodgins N. el-Guebaly (2000) ArticleTitleNatural and treatment assisted recovery from gambling problems: Comparison of resolved and active gamblers Addiction 95 777–789 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3czktlCltA%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10885052

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • T. J. Jarvis J. Tebbutt R. P. Mattick (1995) Treatment approaches for alcohol and drug dependence: An introductory guide John Wiley & Sons Brisbane

    Google Scholar 

  • H. K. Klingermann (1991) ArticleTitleThe motivation for change from problem alcohol and heroin use British Journal of Addiction 86 727–744 Occurrence Handle1878623

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • H. R. Lesiur S. Blume (1987) ArticleTitleThe South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS): A new instrument for the identification of pathalogical gambling American Journal of Psychiatry 144 1184–1188 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:BiiA38zms1E%3D Occurrence Handle3631315

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • H. R. Lesieur R. J. Rosenthal (1991) ArticleTitlePathological gambling: A review of the literature (prepared for the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on DSM-IV Committee on Disorders of Impulse Control Not Elsewhere Classified) Journal of Gambling Studies 7 5–39

    Google Scholar 

  • W. R. Miller (1983) ArticleTitleMotivational interviewing with problem drinkers Behavioral Psychotherapy 11 147–172

    Google Scholar 

  • W. R. Miller (1998) Enhancing motivation for change W.R. Miller N. Heather (Eds) Treating addictive behaviors: Processes of change Plenum Press New York

    Google Scholar 

  • W. R. Miller E. Kurtz (1994) ArticleTitleModels of alcoholism used in treatment: Contrasting AA and other perspectives with which it is often confused Journal of Studies on Alcohol 55 159–166 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:ByuB2cnps10%3D Occurrence Handle8189736

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • National Centre for Education and Training on Addition. (1998). Gambling and self-help. National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction. Adelaide: Department of Human Services.

  • R. E. Nisbett T. D. Wilson (1977) ArticleTitleTelling more than we know: Verbal reports on mental processes Psychological Review 84 234–259

    Google Scholar 

  • T. J. Powell (1987) Self-help organizations and professional practice National Association of Social Workers Maryland: USA

    Google Scholar 

  • InstitutionalAuthorNameProductivity Commission (1999) Australia’s gambling industries Productivity Commission Canberra

    Google Scholar 

  • J. O. Prochaska C. C. DiClemente (1982) ArticleTitleTranstheoretical therapy: Toward a more integrative model of change Psychotherapy: Theory Research and Practice 19 276–278

    Google Scholar 

  • J. O. Prochaska C. C. DiClemente J.C. Norcross (1992) ArticleTitleIn search of how people change: Applications to addictive behaviours American Psychologist 47 1102–1114 Occurrence Handle10.1037//0003-066X.47.9.1102 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:ByyD3snnsVY%3D Occurrence Handle1329589

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • F. Riessman D. Carroll (1995) Redefining self-help: Policy and practice Jossey-Bass San Francisco

    Google Scholar 

  • J. Rosecrance (1998) ArticleTitleActive gamblers and peer counsellors International Journal of the Addictions 23 751–766

    Google Scholar 

  • InstitutionalAuthorNameSouth Australian Department of Human Services (2000) Gambling patterns of South Australians and associated health indicators Epidemiology Branch. South Australian Department of Human Services Adelaide

    Google Scholar 

  • S. Sullivan B. Arroll G. Coster M. Abbott P. Adams (2000) ArticleTitleProblem gamblers: Do GP’s want to intervene? New Zealand Journal of Medicine 113 204–207 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3czmsFartQ%3D%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Volberg R. (1999). Gambling and problem gambling in Oregon. Report prepared for the Oregon Gambling Addiction Treatment Foundation.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul H. Delfabbro.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Evans, L., Delfabbro, P.H. Motivators for Change and Barriers to Help-Seeking in Australian Problem Gamblers. J Gambl Stud 21, 133–155 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-005-3029-4

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-005-3029-4

Keywords

Navigation