Characteristics of black and white callers to a gambling helpline

Abstract

Objective: Characteristics of black and white callers to a gambling helpline for southern New England were examined for racial differences. Methods: Logistic regression analyses were performed on data from 2000–2003 from 1,627 callers (9% blacks and 91% whites). Results: Black callers were more likely than white callers to be female and less likely to have a post–high school education. After control for gender and education, race-related differences for multiple variables were observed. Black callers were more likely than white callers to report longer durations of gambling problems and less likely to report problems with casino slot machines, depression secondary to gambling, daily tobacco use, and mental health treatment. High proportions of both groups reported psychiatric problems related to gambling, including depression and suicidality. Conclusions: Racerelated differences in gambling behaviors, psychiatric problems, and mental health and substance abuse treatment among problem gamblers may inform program planning and outreach efforts. (Psychiatric Services 59:1347– 1350, 2008)

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