More informed public health policy decisions and effective prevention and treatment programs to address problem gambling could be achieved with the application of findings from psychological research, according to a special report on the psychology of gambling published in the bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) last week.
With an estimated 170,000 Australians experiencing significant problems from their gambling and a further 350,000 with moderate risks that make them vulnerable to problem gambling, an informed understanding of gambling behaviour is vital. For every person with a gambling problem, it is estimated five to ten other people are affected, including family members and work colleagues. The APS Psychology of Gambling special report provides a comprehensive review of the current literature on gambling from a psychological perspective, and concludes with a number of recommendations to inform public health decisions and enhance the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs for this serious social and community concern.
Recommendations contained in the special report include to:
The Psychology of Gambling special report is based on a larger review paper prepared by the APS Gambling Working Group, which was comprised of psychological experts in academic and treatment roles. The special report provides information on the accessibility and prevalence of gambling in Australia, an account of current psychological theories and research on problem gambling behaviour, a discussion of community and public health approaches to reducing gambling harm, and an overview of the assessment and treatment of problem gambling.
The APS seeks to facilitate the provision of psychological knowledge to address problem gambling through informed public health policy decisions, more effective prevention programs, enhanced provision of effective treatment interventions, and furthering the understanding of gambling behaviour through research. The special report and the full review paper on the psychology of gambling can be accessed at:
For media enquiries please contact: Karen Coghlan or Judith Heywood on 0435 896 444.
The APS is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 19,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.