Online Gambling Research Indicates Age Has Impact

Published Tuesday, April 09, 2013 -

A recent report has revealed that age can have a significant impact on the development of gambling problems. The obvious impact and well known differences in the way young people act and the way old people behave are explained in this research project that looked at more than 2,300 patients aged from 17 to 86 years. Younger clients ranging in age from 17 to 35 are more likely to be impulsive. In contrast, older people aged from 55 to 86 years are less impulsive yet more likely to have risk factors such as excessive anxiety and worry.

Leading the research Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Ph.D., commented, “Older people do not gamble to seek awards or for the challenge of winning or for competitiveness as young people do, but they gamble to modulate negative emotional states,” Jiménez-Murcia, Ph.D., added, “Older patients try to flee from loneliness, dissatisfaction or even physical discomfort.” and “The only personality factor that does not vary with age is self-direction, the ability to take control of our lives, to be persistent with a goal,” This study confirms that self-direction “is low at all stages and that could be one of the keys to the treatment and prevention of the disorder.” It was revealed that young patients are associated with more risk taking gambling behaviour. “Early intervention in these patients allows us to understand the causes of the problem in the early stages and we can give clients tools to control it.”

A clear understanding was determined that the problem for gamblers is temporary as Jiménez-Murcia explains, “We observed that at certain times in life, some social, environmental and personal factors can ease to control this behavior but in other moments it is not so easy, and the psychopathology could be more serious. But the good news is that it is not a chronic disorder for life.” Online gambling is the new venue for punters and the research point out, “We see younger, college-educated and higher socioeconomic level patients.”

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