A Longitudinal Study: Casino Gambling Attitudes, Motivations, and Gambling Patterns Among Urban Elders
Guided by self-determination theory, the main purpose of this study was to explore demographic characteristics, attitudes toward casinos, and self-reported intrinsic and extrinsic reasons for casino gambling by urban elders. The study hypothesized that individuals would more frequently report intrinsic motivations for casino gambling (e.g., entertainment, enjoyment) rather than extrinsic motivation (e.g., financial gain). This longitudinal sample included 247 urban elders older who were 60 years and older and who had participated in surveys in 2002 and 2004. The initial survey consisted of (a) demographic items, (b) five items to measure attitudes toward casino gambling, (c) questions inquiring about motivations for casino gambling, and (d) questions about gambling frequency. The follow-up survey was an expanded questionnaire which still included these items. The sample consisted of the 247 participants, over 200 of whom were African-Americans, 188 were female, and 98 of the participants had a post graduate education. About half were widowed, and the sample generally reported a low income. The results supported the theoretical perspective underlying the project. The hypothesis that more participants would endorse intrinsic motivations for casino gambling rather than extrinsic motivations was supported. The implications of these findings represent for social workers, gambling counselors and health care services providers an important step toward understanding the attitudes, behaviors, and motivational factors involved in casino gambling among older adults.
KeywordsAfrican-Americans Blacks Gaming Slot machines Urban elders Older adults
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