Gambling among culturally diverse older adults: a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative data

Abstract

Culturally diverse older gamblers may face multiple jeopardies and socially structured challenges. In this first systematic review of empirical evidence of gambling in this population, the authors examined both quantitative and qualitative studies published between 1996 and June 2016. A thorough search of 7 databases yielded 18 articles with a total sample of 11,296 culturally diverse older adults. The review revealed contrary findings on the correlation between gender, education, income and gambling behaviour.

Early onset was more frequently found among older adults who belonged to a culture that promoted tolerance of gambling activities; however, some developed a gambling habit after they had moved to a western society. Using an analytical framework, the authors demonstrate interrelated factors: enabling factors (cultural acceptance of gambling, supportive social networks, accessibility to gambling facilities and venues, and external cues); motivational factors (desire for excitement and winning money, coping with boredom, and stress due to structural issues); and buffering factors for culturally diverse older gamblers . Both environmental and personal factors could be triggered as buffers between gambling and culturally diverse older adults. In light of the motivational and enabling factors, practitioners and policy makers may need to step beyond focusing on ‘correction’ during intervention.

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