Financial recovery from problem gambling : problem gamblers’ experiences of social assistance and other financial support

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/301601

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Heiskanen , M K 2017 , ' Financial recovery from problem gambling : problem gamblers’ experiences of social assistance and other financial support ' , Journal of Gambling Issues , vol. 2017 , no. 35 , pp. 24-48 . https://doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2017.35.2

Title: Financial recovery from problem gambling : problem gamblers’ experiences of social assistance and other financial support
Author: Heiskanen, Maria Kristiina
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Social Policy

Date: 2017
Language: eng
Number of pages: 25
Belongs to series: Journal of Gambling Issues
ISSN: 1910-7595
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2017.35.2
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/301601
Abstract: The objective of this article is to understand problem gamblers’ experiences of recovery from financial difficulties caused by problem gambling. Specifically, financial social assistance from government-provided services is considered. A sample of 17 semi-structured interviews with Finnish self-identified, treatment-seeking problem gamblers from various financial positions was analyzed qualitatively using thematic content analysis. The analysis revealed four main themes. The first theme is about how the financial concerns of problem gamblers were left unaddressed by treatment professionals. The second theme discusses the rationalizations behind not applying for or not receiving financial social assistance from government-provided services. Not applying for financial social assistance was due to financial stability and pride of surviving independently, and not receiving assistance, despite applying for it, was mostly due to estimated to have adequate disposable incomes. Third theme is about receiving financial social assistance while or after problematic gambling. Participants living on welfare benefits often gambled away their benefits in hopes of increased income. The financial social assistance also supported recovering, lower-income problem gamblers with living expenses or paying for treatment. Fourth, non-governmental and more controlling forms of financial support were financial assistance within private safety nets, support for over-indebtedness from and NGO and some other person/authority taking control over problem gamblers' every day financial matters. The socio-economic background factors are important to address when designing financial and other support for problem gamblers. The results of this study discuss problem gambling as a financial problem and provide useful information for future (survey) studies of the topic.
Subject: 5142 Social policy
gambling
problem gambling
financial recovery
financial social assistance
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