This book documents the history of ideas about problem gambling and its link to addictive disorders. The book uses a combination of literature review and conceptual and linguistic analysis to explore the way ideas about problem gambling gave changed over time. It examines the religious, socio-cultural, and medical influences on the development of the concept of problem gambling as a disease, along with the ways in which such ideas were influenced by attitudes about substance abuse. The history of mental illness, notably as it pertains to themes such as loss of control over behavior, is also addressed. The book ends with a discussion of the current status and future prospects, with an eye to which ideas about problem gambling and addictions seem most promising and which should perhaps be left behind.
About the Authors:
Peter Ferentzy, PhD is a scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He received his doctoral degree in social and political thought from York University where his dissertation was a historical sociology of the origins and recent development of the modern concept of addiction with an emphasis on how it has interacted with ideas about mental illness and compulsions in general. Dr. Ferentzy has been studying Gamblers Anonymous since 2002, and was once a pre-doctoral fellow at the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, with Robin Room on his committee. He has published on Gamblers Anonymous as well as the history of addiction. Currently, Dr. Ferentzy is involved with studies addressing pathological gambling and co-morbidity, prison modalities, and gambling among crack users in downtown Toronto.
Nigel E. Turner, PhD is a researcher in the field of gambling studies with extensive experience in various quantitative and qualitative research methods such as randomized controlled trials, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and content analysis. He has worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health since 1995. Dr. Turner has conducted several studies of gambling including experimental studies that examined gambling behavior, recall, and learning. He has used computer simulations to systematically examine the experience of various commercial gambling games including roulette, games of skill, slot machines games, and lotteries. In addition, he has conducted research on problem gambling among adult offenders and found very high rates of problem gambling in correctional facilities.