Problem gambling and emotional vulnerability among women

Ching Yue Chan


Problem gamblers tend to have higher rates of depressive symptoms (Goodyear-Smith et al., 2006). Compared with men, women with gambling problems usually experience higher levels of negative moods and women gamblers who scored high on avoidance coping tended to exhibit more problems with their gambling (Brown & Coventry, 1997; Trevorrow & Moore, 1998). Women were more likely to gamble in social games of chance (e.g., bingo, cards, slot machines) (Noella, 2010).  The present study aimed to investigate emotional vulnerability and problem gambling for female Mahjong players. One hundred and forty nine women (aged 25-55) from Hong Kong were recruited in the current study. All participants were assessed with Chinese Beck Depression Inventory (Zheng et al, 1988) and the Problem Gambling Severity Index (Ferris & Wayne, 2001). The major findings were that depression was found to be correlated positively with problem gambling. When compared with social gamblers and non-gamblers, women with problem gambling tend to be more depressive. Further statistical analysis indicated that their scores on the depression scale can predict their involvement in gambling. As a social game, mahjong appears to be a game of choice for women with problems in adjusting to everyday problems.

Ching Yue Chan (Upper Iowa University, Hong Kong Campus), Keis Ohtsuka, Ki Hu Ho, Mei La Cheung

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