Playing the cards right



Here is a surprising fact: university students are more likely to suffer from a gambling addiction than the general adult population of Quebec. Indeed, a recent survey showed that approximately 6.2% of Montreal undergraduate students are problem gamblers or are at a moderate risk of experiencing gambling problems, while 9% reported that they have experienced financial, relational or psychological problems caused by gambling.

These alarming statistics come from a survey conducted by the research team of Concordia University research professor Sylvia Kairouz, affiliated with the Centre Dollard-Cormier - University Institute on Addictions. Involving more than 2,000 students, this study aimed to describe student gambling behaviors and the contexts in which they occur, to analyze the first signs of gambling-related problem behavior, and to understand the situation of these students.

The investigation revealed that the gambling activities most popular with students are lotteries and poker, and that the stakes are higher when gambling on the Internet. In addition to more significant spending and debt, youth with gambling problems are at greater risk of developing problems with alcohol and drugs, and of experiencing higher levels of psychological distress.

Collaboration between the Centre Dollard-Cormier - University Institute on Addictions and the Association des centres de réadaptation du Québec [Quebec Association of Rehabilitation Centres] has allowed rehabilitation centre workers and clinicians to integrate scientific knowledge regarding youth gambling into their practice.

The team developed original intervention methods for students and health workers. A prevention guide was posted online and is accessible via the Internet or through a barcode printed on a poster that can be scanned by a smartphone, providing direct access to the virtual document. This study highlights the relevance of partnerships between researchers and clinicians, and shows that they are necessary for addressing psychosocial problems and promoting the appropriation of scientific knowledge.

Team

Centre Dollard–Cormier – Institut universitaire sur les dépendances

Director

Louise Nadeau, Université de Montréal

Membres réguliers

  • Jacques Bergeron, Université de Montréal
  • Karine Bertrand, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Serge Brochu, Université de Montréal
  • Natacha Brunelle, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
  • Magali Dufour, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Francine Ferland, Centre de réadaptation Ubald-Villeneuve
  • Isabelle Giroux, Université Laval
  • Sylvia Kairouz, Université Concordia
  • Michel Landry, Centre Dollard–Cormier – Institut universitaire sur les dépendances
  • Myriam Laventure, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Pauline Morissette, Université de Montréal
  • Louise Nadeau, Université de Montréal
  • Élise Roy, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Hélène Simoneau, Centre Dollard–Cormier – Institut universitaire sur les dépendances
  • Joël Tremblay, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières