Dr Julie Pattinson from the Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) at University of Lincoln, recently published an article in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. The article, entitled ‘Age-related physical and psychological vulnerability as pathways to problem gambling in older adults’, was co-authored by, Dr Adrian Parke, University of Lincoln, Professor Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University and Dr David Keatley, University of Lincoln. This is Julie’s third publication following her PhD thesis on ‘British older adult gambling behaviour; evaluating psychological and physical health as predictive risk for problem gambling.’
The study background discussed clinical treatment and preventative efforts, and highlights the need to understand the pathways to late-life gambling disorder. The study assesses the association between age-related physical health, social networks, and problem gambling in adults aged over 65 years and assesses the mediating role of affective disorders in this association. In total, 595 older adults aged 64-94 years were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to assess physical frailty, geriatric pain, loneliness, geriatric depression, geriatric anxiety, and problem gambling.
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Pathway analysis demonstrated associations between these variables and gambling problems, providing a good fit for the data, but these relationships were mediated by both anxiety and depression symptoms. The study indicated that late-life problem gambling may develop as vulnerable individuals gamble to escape anxiety and depression consequent upon deteriorating physical well-being and social support. Furthermore, when individuals develop late-life problem gambling, it is recommended that the treatment primarily focuses upon targeting and replacing avoidant coping approaches. Full text available at: http://akademiai.com/doi/pdf/10.1556/2006.7.2018.18
Julie Pattinson who recently joined CaHRU as a research assistant, recently successfully defended her doctoral thesis evaluating psychological and physical health as predictors for problem gambling in British older adults.
The aim of the doctorate was to build knowledge and understanding of British older adult gambling behaviour to understand psychological and age-related physical health differences as predictive risk factors for problem gambling. The study used a mixed methods approach. A qualitative study using grounded theory suggested that British older adults gambled to alleviate distress experienced from psychological, lifestyle and physical changes associated with ageing. A cross-sectional survey investigating risk factors for problem gambling behaviour found the strongest predictor was use of slot machines. The third study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis found that British older adult women gambled to fill voids, for emotional escape, and in doing so risked overspending.
Overall the thesis provided a detailed analysis of how psychological and physical health factors affect British older adult gambling behaviour. This will inform future research on gambling behaviour, with a long-term goal of informing development of gambling interventions for this population.
Julie Pattinson joined the CaHRU team this autumn as a research assistant from the University of Nottingham, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health Research (UK centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies; UKCTAS). She has a keen interest in behavioural addictions and her recent research explored electronic cigarette shops and users across the East Midlands. Julie has recently submitted her PhD, entitled, ‘UK Older Adult Gambling Behaviour; Evaluating Psychological and Physical Health as Predictive Risk Factors for Problem Gambling Behaviour’ at the University of Lincoln.
Julie was awarded £60,000 funding by the Responsible Gambling Trust UK to complete her PhD thesis. She also completed her MSc in Clinical Research (2009-2011) and BSc (Honours) in Psychology with Clinical Psychology (2006-2009) at the University of Lincoln.
Julie has extensive knowledge in quantitative and qualitative methodologies specifically Grounded Theory and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. She is currently is working on research led by Prof Siriwardena exploring the reasons for variations in performance in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) general practice licensing exam, specifically the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT).