The “Walk of Shame”: a Qualitative Study of the Influences of Negative Stereotyping of Problem Gambling on Gambling Attitudes and Behaviours
- 362 Downloads
Problem gambling is known to be associated with significant stigma, but there is limited research on the negative stereotypes that underpin this judgement. Understanding the stereotypes that contribute to the stigmatisation of problem gambling may help to identify new approaches to reducing gambling stigma. Using data collected during 100 in-depth qualitative interviews with gamblers in Victoria, Australia, we explored factors which underpin negative stereotypes about people with gambling problems, the influence of negative stereotypes on behaviours and attitudes and differences in attitudes to different gambling products. Participants perceived that people with gambling problems were lacked responsibility and control, as were “lazy”, “stupid” and “greedy.” Electronic gambling machine (EGM) gamblers were particularly stigmatised. Negative stereotypes focusing on personal responsibility led to feelings of guilt and shame in people with gambling problems, as well as increased social isolation, and also impacted on moderate-risk gamblers, who contrasted their own behaviour with a stereotyped idea of a person with a gambling problem. Participants linked stereotyped portrayals of problem gambling to discussions of the gambling industry, which they perceived focused on control and responsibility, and the media, which they perceived emphasised extreme negative consequences from gambling. This study suggests that negative stereotypes focusing on personal responsibility for gambling problems are a factor leading to the stigmatisation of people with gambling problems.
KeywordsGambling Problem gambling Stigma Personal responsibility
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study involved analysis of data collected for a project funded by the Victorian Government Department of Justice through the Grants for Gambling Research Program.
Helen Miller is an employee of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. The authors have no other completing interests to declare.
All procedure followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®).Google Scholar
- Carroll, A., Rodgers, B., Davidson, T., & Sims, S. (2013). Stigma and help-seeking for gambling problems. Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government: Canberra.Google Scholar
- Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: a practical guide through qualitative research. London: Sage Publications Ltd..Google Scholar
- Charmaz, K. (2009). Shifting the grounds: grounded theory in the 21st century. JM Morse et al.(2009). Developing grounded theory: the second generation, 125–140.Google Scholar
- Cooper, G. (2004). Exploring and understanding online assistance for problem gamblers: the pathways disclosure model. International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 1(2), 32–38.Google Scholar
- Ferris, J., & Wynne, H. (2001). The Canadian problem gambling index. Ottawa: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.Google Scholar
- Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: notes on the management of spoiled identity. Englewood-Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Hing, N., Russell, A., Nuske, E., & Gainsbury, S. (2015). The stigma of problem gambling: causes, characteristics and consequences. Melbourne: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.Google Scholar
- Horch, J. D., & Hodgins, D. (2013). Stereotypes of problem gambling. Journal of Gambling Issues, 1–19.Google Scholar
- Konkolÿ Thege, B., Colman, I., El-Guebaly, N., Hodgins, D. C., Patten, S. B., Schopflocher, D.,... Wild, T. C. (2015). Social judgments of behavioral versus substance-related addictions: a population-based study. Addictive Behaviors, 42, 24–31.Google Scholar
- Langham, E., Thorne, H., Browne, M., Donaldson, P., Rose, J., & Rockloff, M. (2016). Understanding gambling related harm: a proposed definition, conceptual framework, and taxonomy of harms. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 1.Google Scholar
- Link, B. G., & Phelan, J. C. (2001). Conceptualizing stigma. Annual Review of Sociology, 27(1), 363–385.Google Scholar
- Neal, P. N., Delfabbro, P. H., & O’Neil, M. G. (2005). Problem gambling and harm: towards a national definition. Melbourne: Gambling Research Australia.Google Scholar
- Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform. (2012). Inquiry into the prevention and treatment of problem gambling. Retrieved from Canberra: http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/wopapub/senate/committee/gamblingreform_ctte/completed_inquires/2010-13/prevention_treatment/report/report.ashx
- Productivity Commission. (2010). Gambling: inquiry report. Retrieved from Canberra: http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/gambling-2009
- Pulford, J., Bellringer, M., Abbott, M., Clarke, D., Hodgins, D., & Williams, J. (2009). Barriers to help-seeking for a gambling problem: the experiences of gamblers who have sought specialist assistance and the perceptions of those who have not. Journal of Gambling Studies, 25(1), 33–48.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Quinn, D. M. (2006). Concealable versus conspicuous stigmatised identities. In S. Levin & C. V. Laar (Eds.), Stigma and group inequality: social psychological perspectives. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.Google Scholar
- Thomas, S. L., & Lewis, S. (2012). Conceptualisation of gambling risks and benefits: a socio-cultural study of 100 Victorian gamblers. Melbourne: Department of Justice (Victoria) Ed.Google Scholar
- Thomas, S. L., Bestman, A., Pitt, H., David, J., & Thomas, S. (2016). Lessons for the development of initiatives to tackle the stigma associated with problem gambling. Melbourne: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.Google Scholar
- Wardle, H., Moody, A., Spence, S., Orford, J., Volberg, R., Jotangia, D., Dobbie, F. (2011). British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010. Retrieved from London:Google Scholar