Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc - Chair

Second Advisor

Marci Culley

Third Advisor

James Emshoff

Fourth Advisor

Michael Eriksen

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that problem gambling is associated with substance and alcohol abuse (Petry, Stinson, & Grant, 2005), participation in criminal activities (McCorkle, 2002; Meyer & Stadler, 1999), and involvement in the criminal justice system (NORC, 1999). This study assessed problem gambling and its relation to crime and substance use within a population in which these risk factors are compounded: Adults mandated to participate in drug and DUI courts. Results indicate that the prevalence and severity of problem gambling may be higher within this population than any other. Furthermore, the results of qualitative and quantitative analyses converged to highlight that gambling, crime and substance use are interrelated behaviors, as each may lead to and/or reinforce the other. These findings suggest that problem gambling is a salient issue among substance-abusing offenders and that resources should be dedicated to screening those involved with the criminal justice system for problem gambling, establishing evidence based best practices in the prevention and treatment of problem gambling within this population, and that such practices may incorporate components addressing gambling, crime, and substance use.

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