Of Time and the Chase

Lifetime Versus Past-Year Measures of Pathological Gambling

About the Course:

Two stratified random-sample surveys of gambling behavior and correlates were conducted with community-based U.S. adults.
This analysis tested whether past-year measures can be shown to have methodological advantages over lifetime measures of pathological gambling based on DSM-IV criteria.

Journal/Publisher:

Journal of Gambling Issues

Publication Date:

February 2004, Issue 10

Authors

Marianna Toce-Gerstein; Dean R. Gerstein

About the Authors:

Marianna Toce-Gerstein and Dean R. Gerstein are in the department of Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Criminal Justice Studies of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, and have been working in gambling studies for 5 years. Ms. Toce-Gerstein is a principal research analyst whose main areas of expertise include qualitative and quantitative analysis, questionnaire design, and discourse analysis. Recent gambling work involved an NIAAA grant on pathological gambling among women; prior to this, she was an analyst for NORC’s Gambling Impact and Behavior Study (GIBS). Ms. Gerstein has been working in mental health research for the past 15 years, since obtaining a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Mount Holyoke College. She has a master’s degree in sociolinguistics from Georgetown University, and continues to work on a doctoral degree in this area.

Dr. Gerstein is senior vice president at NORC. He was co-principal investigator, with Rachel A. Volberg, of an NIAAA grant on gambling among women and is project director for the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program of the National Institute of Justice. In recent years, he has been the principal investigator of the GIBS; National Archive and Analytic Center for Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Data (under contract to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA]); Reports on Drug Use from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (SAMHSA); and NIH grants on vulnerability to drug abuse of high-risk youth, HIV infection among injection drug users, and process and outcomes of drug treatment services. During the 1990s, he directed three of the largest substance abuse treatment evaluations ever performed. Dr. Gerstein holds a B.A. from Reed College and a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about lifetime versus past-year measures of pathological gambling. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Discuss the criteria used to make a diagnosis of pathological gambling and the argument for using past-year versus lifetime measurements.

  2. Explain methods used to study the merits of measuring pathological gambling by either lifetime or past-year standards, including study participants, questionnaire used, and data analysis.

  3. Describe study results, including results for relative consistency and age relatedness, and identify the limitations of conclusions drawn.

Exam Questions

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