behind the mask a symposium on women problem gamblers april 8 2010 banff centre
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BEHIND THE MASK: A SYMPOSIUM ON WOMEN PROBLEM GAMBLERS April 8, 2010 Banff Centre Noella Piquette-Tomei, Ph.D University of Lethbridge Welcome! The team….. Sonya Corbin Dwyer, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook, Nfld

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behind the mask a symposium on women problem gamblers april 8 2010 banff centre


Noella Piquette-Tomei, Ph.D

University of Lethbridge

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010


The team…..

Sonya Corbin Dwyer, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook, Nfld

Noella Piquette-Tomei, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB.

Jennifer Buckle, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College: Corner Brook, Nfld

Fergus Hogan, Waterford Institute of Technology: Waterford, Ireland

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

the agenda
The Agenda
  • 9:00 - 9:15 “Female problem gamblers: Context and considerations” Dr. Noëlla Piquette-Tomei, Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge
  • 9:15 - 10:15 “Characteristics of Canadian female gamblers: A comparative overview and trends specific to female problem gambling” Dr. Robert Williams, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge & Dr. Robert Wood, Department of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
  • 10:15 - 10:30 “A brief introduction to gambling interventions” Dr. David Hodgins, University of Calgary
  • 10:30 - 10:45 Break
  • 10:45 - 11:15 “Strategies for locating research resources related to problem gambling” Mr. Rhys Stevens, Library, University of Lethbridge
  • 11:15 - 12:15 “In search of the neural correlates of gambling: evidence from human neuroimaging” Dr. Matt Tata, Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge
  • 12:15 - 1:15 Lunch [Sponsored by Institute Library]
  • 1:15 - 2:15 Breakout workshop: Future planning and partnership.
  • Drs. Jennifer Buckle, Noella Piquette-Tomei & Fergus Hogan
  • 2:15 - 2:30 Concluding remarks

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

the audience
The Audience
  • Quick introduction
    • Who are we talking with today?
    • What is your interest in problem gambling and/or specifically with women problem gamblers?

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

women problem gamblers
Women Problem Gamblers

The context

  • Fifteen million+ North Americans have

experienced a gambling problem

  • Negative correlations have been established with problem gambling and socioeconomic status, employment, education levels and income
  • Cultural differences have also been noted, with higher rates of problem gambling among ethnic minorities
  • Despite these findings, a general trend throughout the literature is a pervasive and incorrect assumption that problem gamblers are a homogeneous population
  • This is particularly relevant when exploring the similarities between gender and problem gambling.

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

women problem gamblers6
Women Problem Gamblers

The problem

  • Despite the fact that gambling is not gender specific, the majority of the research in Westernized culture has focused on the situation of the American male gambler.
  • The lack of current information is problematic as research suggests that women and men gamble differently and for different reasons, but large-scale research evidence has not been sought.
  • Moreover, there has been a tendency to generalize the findings of this male-focused research to the female population of gamblers
  • The underlying problem then is, how much do we know about women PG?

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

women problem gamblers7
Women Problem Gamblers
  • Female PG have been found to have many different attributes than male PG. A few brief non-encompassing points:
    • Men were more likely to engage in strategic activities; gambling on sporting events, the track, blackjack and cards while women were more likely to gamble in social contexts in games of chance (e.g., bingo, cards, slot machines)
    • Women tend to have a low control capability over gambling activities, hence women do not take into account that luck versus skill or control is the determinant in their gambling success
    • The nonstrategic and less interpersonally interactive gambling such as VLTs and slot machines that females tend to gravitate toward are readily available in public domains and are associated with higher levels of PG due to the intermittent reinforcement

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

women problem gamblers8
Women Problem Gamblers
  • Women tend to become emotionally involved with gambling and the gambling activity, perhaps as a result of the socialization or escape mechanisms inherent in the activity
  • Women are more likely to be motivated to gamble seeking emotional self-classification and escaping everyday problems

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

women problem gamblers9
Women Problem Gamblers
  • Women are more likely to have comorbid issues such as depression, negative self worth, past physical and emotional abuse, etc.
  • Women are more likely to be single and start gambling significantly later in life than men
  • Women in the most marginalized SES living in the most marginalized regions are reported to have issues with PG

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

women problem gamblers10
Women Problem Gamblers
  • Women progress to PG faster than men
  • NB: This has important implications not only for treatment, but also for future research to determine the reasons why women progress to problem gambling at a quicker pace.

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

back to the context
Back to the context
  • Compared to other disorders and

addictions, research on gambling

treatment and prevention is still in

its infancy.

  • While there is some controversy on what causes an individual to develop an addiction most researchers appear to agree that the cause is multi-factored, affected by a combination of social and biological components.
  • The lack of study on female PG is notable
  • Serious questions must be raised and explored in order to develop more efficient treatments for both male and female PG, their families and society.

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

final words
Final Words
  • What do we actually know about all areas of diversity within the PG population?
  • How can we go back to past research as a means to understand who was in the n and what was actually found?
  • How do we go forward and consider how to conduct research to reflect gender and how that evidence can support therapeutic interventions?
  • What questions can be asked during

this upcoming conference? How are

women PG taken up in the research

findings, in the discussions and within

the context of societal implications?

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

moving forward
Moving Forward…
  • Discussion – questions
  • Return to agenda - presentations…
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Apologies to the researchers who had their findings synthesized sans citations – am happy to forward to any and all who are interested
  • All pictures from

Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010