An Exploratory Study of the Impacts of Gambling on Affected Others Accessing a Social Service

  • Jason LandonEmail author
  • Elizabeth Grayson
  • Amanda Roberts
Original Article


Problem gambling affects many people beyond the problem gambler themselves. Help-seeking is relatively rare among affected others, especially those in lower socio-economic communities. However, these affected others are sometimes in contact with other support agencies. The present research interviewed 10 people seeking support through a social agency who reported being affected by someone else’s gambling. Data from semi-structured interviews were analysed using an inductive descriptive approach to identify three themes: (1) This is ugly, (2) It affects everything and (3) I just do it by myself. The results highlight the normality of harmful gambling across generations, the lack of any positive aspects to gambling for affected others and the impacts on families and children. Specific gambling-related help-seeking remains rare; however, the opportunity to provide support, information and advice on approaches to coping to affected others as they contact social services is highlighted.


Problem gambling Affected others Help-seeking Social support Coping Qualitative 



We thank the participants for generously giving up their time and sharing their experiences. We also thank Lisa Campbell, Sue Hohaia and Charlotte Manase for sharing their expertise and supporting the recruitment of participants.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jason Landon, Elizabeth Grayson and Amanda Roberts declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee 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 for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason Landon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elizabeth Grayson
    • 1
  • Amanda Roberts
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health & Environmental SciencesAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of LincolnLincolnUK

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