All mixed up together: Women’s experiences of problem gambling, comorbidity and co-occurring complex needs


While there has been minimal recent gendered gambling research conducted in Australia and elsewhere, there is some evidence to suggest that gender differences do exist in various ways including gambling motivations such as gambling used as a coping strategy to alleviate or 'escape' from stress and anxiety, help-seeking and prevalence of comorbidity. In this Australian qualitative study we explored the experiences and concerns of 20 women electronic gaming machine players through in-depth interviews. Ten women self-identified as recreational gamblers and 10 had received help for their gambling. We present findings as they relate to specific issues of comorbidity and complex needs. For the 10 women who had received gambling help the range of comorbid issues was extensive. Greater understandings of the range of complex issues often involved for women who gamble problematically will assist in the identification of moving from recreational to problem gambling and in the implementation of effective treatment strategies.

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