Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 35–40 | Cite as

Prevalence and Correlates of Lifetime Disordered Gambling in Cambodian Refugees Residing in Long Beach, CA

  • Grant N. Marshall
  • Marc N. Elliott
  • Terry L. Schell
Original Paper


Background Research has suggested that disordered gambling is endemic to Cambodian refugees. Whereas earlier study of the prevalence and correlates of disordered gambling has relied on convenience sampling, this investigation used a subset of a sample representative of the largest Cambodian refugee community in the US. Methods Face-to-face interviews assessing gambling disorder were conducted with a subsample of persons (N = 127) participating in a broader study of the mental health of this community. Results 13.9% of participants met screening criteria for lifetime disordered gambling, in contrast to previous research suggesting that prevalence rates may exceed 70%. After adjusting for a range of covariates, breadth of trauma exposure and marital status emerged as significant predictors of disordered gambling. Discussion Given the myriad mental health challenges facing the Cambodian refugee community, these data indicate that scarce prevention and treatment resources may be more productively channeled toward addressing other mental health and social service needs.


Refugees Mental health Disordered gambling Trauma exposure 



We thank the RAND Survey Research team: Judy Perlman, MA, Can Du, MA, and Crystal Kollross, MS, for their assistance with data collection. We also thank Katrin Hambarsoomians, MS, for her assistance with data analysis. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of our interviewers and community advisors to the success of this research. We are also indebted to the research participants for their generosity. This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH5955) and the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (R01AA13818). The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our funders or the RAND Corporation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grant N. Marshall
    • 1
  • Marc N. Elliott
    • 1
  • Terry L. Schell
    • 1
  1. 1.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA

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