Advertisement

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 733–748 | Cite as

Gambling Behavior and Problem Gambling Reflecting Social Transition and Traumatic Childhood Events Among Greenland Inuit: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Large Indigenous Population Undergoing Rapid Change

  • Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen
  • Tine Curtis
  • Peter Bjerregaard
Original Paper

Abstract

An increase in social pathologies is a key feature in indigenous populations undergoing transition. The Greenland Inuit are a large indigenous population constituting a majority in their own country, which makes it possible to investigate differences within the population. This led us to study gambling behavior and problem gambling among Greenland Inuit in relation to the ongoing social transition and traumatic events during childhood. A large representative cross-sectional study was conducted among Greenland Inuit (n = 2,189). Data was collected among adults (18+) in 9 towns and 13 villages in Greenland from 2005 to 2010. Problem gambling, gambling behavior and traumatic childhood events were measured through a self-administered questionnaire. The lie/bet screen was used to identify past year and lifetime problem gambling. Social transition was measured as place of residence and a combination of residence, education and occupation. The lifetime prevalence of problem gambling was 16 % among men and 10 % among women (p < 0.0001); and higher in towns (19 %) compared to the capital of Nuuk (11 %) and in villages (12 %) (men only, p = 0.020). Lifetime problem gambling was associated with social transition (p = 0.023), alcohol problems in childhood home (p = 0.001/p = 0.002) and sexual abuse in childhood (women only, p = 0.030). A comparably high prevalence of lifetime problem gambling among Greenland Inuit adds problem gambling to the list of social pathologies in Greenland. A significant association between lifetime problem gambling, social transition and traumatic childhood events suggests people caught between tradition and modern ways of life are more vulnerable to gambling problems.

Keywords

Problem gambling Gambling behavior Inuit Indigenous health Social transition 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to everyone who was willing to take their time and participate in the Inuit Health in Transition Greenland Survey. The study is a part of CVLL’s PhD Study funded by The Danish Council for Independent Research | Social Sciences.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

References

  1. Abbott, M. V. & Volberg, R. A. (2000). Taking the pulse on gambling and problem gambling in New Zealand: A report on phase one of the 1999 national prevalence survey. Report number three of the New Zealand gaming survey. The Department of Internal Affairs, 2000. http://www.dia.govt.nz/pubforms.nsf/URL/TakingthePulse.pdf/$file/TakingthePulse.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders—text revision (4th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  3. Berner, J., Furgal, C., Bjerregaard, P., Bradley, M., Curtis, T., De Fabo, E., et al. (2005). Human health. In ACIA 2005, Arctic climate impact assessment (pp. 863–906). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bjerregaard, P. (2011). Inuit health in transitionGreenland Survey 20052010. Population sample and survey methods. 2nd revised edition. SIF writings on Greenland vol. 19. Copenhagen: National Institute of Public Health. http://www.si-folkesundhed.dk/upload/inuit_health_in_transition_greenland_methods_5_2nd_revision.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  5. Bjerregaard, P., & Curtis, T. (2002). Cultural change and mental health in Greenland. The association of childhood conditions, language and urbanization with mental health and suicidal thoughts among the Inuit of Greenland. Social Science and Medicine, 54, 33–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bjerregaard, P., & Dahl-Petersen, I. K. (2011). How well does social variation mirror secular change in prevention of cardiovascular risk factors in a country in transition? American Journal of Human Biology, 23, 774–779.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bjerregaard, P., Young, T. K., Dewailly, E., & Ebbesson, S. O. E. (2004). Indigenous health in the Arctic: An overview of the circumpolar Inuit population. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 32, 390–395.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blaszczynski, A., & Nower, L. (2002). A pathways model of problem and pathological gambling. Addiction, 97, 487–499.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonke, J. & Borregaard, K. (2006). Pathological gambling in Denmark. The prevalence of gambling and problem gambling. Report (in Danish). The Danish National Center for Social Research. http://www.sfi.dk/rapportoplysninger-4681.aspx?Action=1&NewsId=117&currentPage=4&PID=9267. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  10. Bonke, J., & Borregaard, K. (2009). The prevalence of problematic gambling behavior: A Scandinavian comparison. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 37(6), 654–660.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dahl-Petersen, I. K., & Bjerregaard, P. (2011). Physical activity patterns in Greenland: A country in transition. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 39, 678–686.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dowling, N., Smith, D., & Thomas, T. (2005). Electronic gaming machines: Are they the ‘crack-cocaine’ of gambling? Addiction, 100, 33–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ekholm, O., Hesse, U., Davidsen, M., & Kjøller, M. (2009). The study design and characteristics of the Danish national health interview surveys. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 37(7), 758–765.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gerstein, D. R., Arwood R. A., Hoffmann, J., Larison, C., Engelman, L., Murphy, S., et al. (1999). Gambling impact and behavior study. Report to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/reports/fullrpt.html. Accessed September 16, 2012.
  15. Götestam, G. K., Johansson, A., Wenzel, H. G., & Simonsen, I.-E. (2004). Validation of the lie/bet screen for pathological gambling on two normal population data sets. Psychological Reports, 95, 1009–1013.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Hodgins, D. C., Schopflocher, D. P., el Guebaly, N., Casey, D. M., Smith, G. J., Williams, R. J., et al. (2010). The association between childhood maltreatment and gambling problems in a community sample of adult men and women. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(3), 548–554.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnson, E. E., & Hammer, R. (1997). The lie/bet questionnaire for screening pathological gamblers. Psychological Reports, 80, 83–88.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Johnson, E. E., & Hammer, R. M. (1998). The lie/bet questionnaire for screening pathological gamblers: a follow-up study. Psychological Reports, 83, 1219–1224.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kausch, O., Rugle, L., & Rowland, D. Y. (2006). Lifetime histories of trauma among pathological gamblers. American Journal on Addictions, 15(1), 35–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kirmayer, L. J., Brass, G. M., & Tait, C. L. (2000). The mental health of aboriginal peoples. Transformations of identity and community. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry-Revue/Canadienne de Psychiatrie, 45, 607–616.Google Scholar
  21. Kruse, J., Poppel, B., Abryutina, L., Duhaime, G. (2007). Survey of living conditions in the Artic: What did we learn? Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage. http://elders.uaa.alaska.edu/reports/SLiCA_07.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  22. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1993). Revising the south oaks gambling screen in different settings. Journal of Gambling Studies, 9(3), 213–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lethi, V., Niemelä, S., Hoven, C., & Sourander, A. (2009). Mental health, substance use and suicidal behavior among young indigenous people in the Arctic: A systematic review. Social Science and Medicine, 69, 1194–1203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lund, I., & Nordlund, S. (2003). Gambling and gambling problems. Report (in Norwegian). Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS). http://www.sirus.no/filestore/Import_vedlegg/sirusrap.2.03.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  25. Muckle, G., Boucher, O., Laflamme, D., Chevalier, S., Rochette, L. (2007). Alcohol, drug use and gambling among the Inuit of Nunavik: Epidemiological Profile. Report. Institut national de santé publique du Québec. Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. http://www.scribd.com/doc/59936832/657-Nunavik-Qanuippita-Alcool-Drogues-Gambling. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  26. Paarisa (2006). Gambling and gambling patterns. Report (in Danish). Department of Health, Government of Greenland. http://www.peqqik.gl/Sundhed/Spil_og_spillevaner.aspx. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  27. Papineau, E. (2010). Gambling problems in first nations and Inuit Communities of Québec: A brief status report. Québec, Direction du développement des individus et des communautés. Institut national de santé publique Québec. http://www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/1072_ProblJeuPremNationsVillagesInuits_VA.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  28. Petry, N. M., & Steinberg, K. L. (2005). Childhood maltreatment in male and female treatment-seeking pathological gamblers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 19(2), 226–229.Google Scholar
  29. Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Stanton, M. V. (2004). The road less travelled: Moving from distribution to determinants in the study of gambling epidemiology. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(8), 504–516.Google Scholar
  30. Statistics Greenland (2002). Import of alcohol to Greenland 1975–2001. Report (in Danish). http://www.stat.gl/dialog/main.asp?lang=da&version=2001&link=AL&subthemecode=p1&colcode=p. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  31. SWELOGS (2011). The Swedish longitudinal gambling study 2008/2009. Main results from the population study. Report (in Swedish). The Swedish Institute of National Public Health. http://www.fhi.se/PageFiles/10965/R2010-23-Spel-om-pengar-o-spelproblem.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  32. Wardle, H., Moody, A., Spence, S., Orford, J., Volberg, R. A., Jotangia, D., et al. (2011). British gambling prevalence survey 2010. National Centre for Social Research, United Kingdom. Prepared for The Gambling Commission. http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/British%20Gambling%20Prevalence%20Survey%202010.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2012.
  33. Wardman, D., el-Guebaly, N., & Hodgins, D. C. (2001). Problem and pathological gambling in North American aboriginal populations: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Gambling Studies, 17, 81–100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Young, T. K., & Bjerregaard, P. (2008). Health transitions in Arctic populations. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen
    • 1
  • Tine Curtis
    • 2
  • Peter Bjerregaard
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Local Government DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations