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Sources of Bias in Research on Gambling Among Older Adults: Considerations for a Growing Field

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review was to identify possible sources of bias in the study of gambling among older adults. These sources of bias included social desirability bias including issues of increased stigmatization of gambling behaviors in older adults, recall bias including deficits in the recall of negative experiences, and selection bias including increased reliance on survey methods that are more likely to exclude older adults.

Recent Findings

Due to the paucity of research directly examining sources of bias in the study of older adult gambling, this review took recent developments in the field of gambling research and compared them across known issues in researching older adults taken from other fields. Those sources of bias that have the most support in the literature were discussed.

Summary

The trend of increased focus on the experiences of older adults in gambling research is likely to continue given the aging of the Global North and potential vulnerabilities to harm associated with old age. The field must make a more effort to directly assess unique sources of bias in this area in order to ensure that future findings are reflective of the wide range of experiences that is captured within the category of “older adult.”

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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van der Maas, M., Nower, L., Matheson, F.I. et al. Sources of Bias in Research on Gambling Among Older Adults: Considerations for a Growing Field. Curr Addict Rep 8, 208–213 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-021-00365-9

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Keywords

  • Older adults
  • Gambling Disorder
  • Measurement
  • Social desirability bias
  • Selection bias