Few studies have focused on understanding the gambling habits of adults over 55.
Yet this population is considered to be at greater risk of developing gambling problems than other adults, largely due to the many disruptive changes that occur as retirement age approaches (health problems, death of a spouse, etc.). Implementing direct initiatives, including preventive measures, may be crucial for this population, especially in light of current population aging in Québec.
Several life events are linked to increasing involvement in gambling.
This study sought to enhance our understanding of the influence of life events on gambling involvement in adults aged 55 and over. The findings showed that life events such as retirement and health problems were linked to increasing involvement in gambling. Moreover, people in the 55-and-over age group reported certain characteristics relating to gambling activities and environments that also influenced their gambling habits. Few distinctions in gambling behaviour stood out among age brackets in this group (55-64, 65-74 and 75 and over).
The study’s findings allowed us to establish four distinct profiles based on the respective life paths of problem gamblers that enhanced our understanding of the development of gambling problems among people aged 55 and over. Potential prevention and intervention approaches were proposed.
Isabelle Giroux, Université Laval
Deposit of the research report: June 2013