Beginning gambling: the role of social networks and environment

Reith, G. and Dobbie, F. (2011) Beginning gambling: the role of social networks and environment. Addiction Research and Theory, 19(6), pp. 483-493. (doi: 10.3109/16066359.2011.558955)

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This article reports findings from the first phase of a longitudinal, qualitative study based on a cohort of 50 gamblers. The overall study is designed to explore the development of ‘gambling careers’. Within it, this first phase of analysis examines the ways that individuals begin gambling, focusing on the role of social relationships and environmental context in this process. Drawing on theories of social learning and cultural capital, we argue that gambling is a fundamentally social behaviour that is embedded in specific environmental and cultural settings. Our findings reveal the importance of social networks, such as family, friends and colleagues, as well as geographical-cultural environment, social class, age and gender, in the initiation of gambling behaviour. They also suggest that those who begin gambling at an early age within family networks are more likely to develop problems than those who begin later, amongst friends and colleagues. However, we caution against simplistic interpretations, as a variety of inter-dependent social factors interact in complex ways here.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reith, Professor Gerda
Authors: Reith, G., and Dobbie, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Addiction Research and Theory
ISSN (Online):1476-7392

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
515651Understanding gambling: impacts across the lifecourse and social networksGerda ReithEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/H006273/1SPS - SOCIOLOGY