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Correlates of gambling-related problems among older adults in Ontario

John McCready, Robert E. Mann, Jinhui Zhao, Robert Eves


Although the literature suggests that gambling among older adults is influenced by unique age-related factors, there is little information on the factors associated with the experience of gambling-related problems among older adults. The purpose of this study was to identify the sociodemographic health determinants and mental health-related problems, including alcohol and drug dependence, that are associated with the experience of gambling problems among older adults in Ontario. The research was an exploratory analysis of data from Ontario adults, aged 55 and over, who completed the Canadian Community Health Survey -Mental Health and Well-being, Cycle 1.2 (1,904 males and 2,622 females). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify sociodemographic, gambling behaviour, and mental health correlates of the experience of any gambling-related problems, as identified by responses to the Canadian Problem Gambling Index. Being married or living common law and having a higher education level were associated with reduced risk of gambling problems. Among mental health variables, alcohol dependence and any substance dependence significantly increased the odds of reporting a gambling problem. Gambling behaviour measures, such as more frequent gambling, participating in more types of gambling, and spending more on gambling were significant correlates of gambling problems.


seniors; older adults; gambling problems; correlates; behavioural factors; sociodemographic factors; mental health factors

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