Chronic Gambling Linked With Depression, Study Finds

July 25, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. gambling / ˈgæm blɪŋ / (n.) – the activity of using one’s money for betting
Example: He lost his savings because of gambling.

2. depression / dɪˈprɛʃ ən / (n.) – a medical condition of feeling sad, hopeless, and withdrawn from people
Example: The doctor gave him pills for his depression.

3. kindergarten / ˈkɪn dərˌgɑr tn / (n.) – a school or class consisting of children at a very young age
Example: My son was very excited to enter kindergarten.

4. impulsive / ɪmˈpʌl sɪv / (adj.) – doing something without giving it much thought
Example: Sheila is an impulsive shopper.

5. addictive / əˈdɪk tɪv / (adj.) – causing one to be obsessed with something
Example: Gambling can be addictive.


Read the text below.
A new study revealed that chronic gambling is often linked with depression among young men.

The study, published by the Journal of Gambling Studies, was based on the data from another ongoing study that started in 1984. The older study gathered data from more than 1,100 boys in kindergarten, who were all from the poorer parts of Montreal, Canada. It also includes information about the boys’ family situation, their impulsivity level, and the kind of relationships they have with parents and friends.

Meanwhile, in the newer study, the researchers collected data from 878 participants. All of these participants answered questions about their gambling and depression risks when they were 17, 23, and 28 years old.

Results found that boys who were more impulsive had a tendency to become gamblers as adults. From the 878 participants, 3% showed symptoms of chronic gambling, which increased as they got older. Results also showed that 73% of these participants with gambling problems suffered from depression. Their depression also got worse over time.

Researchers explained that the participants’ gambling behavior got worse over time because gambling becomes a legal and acceptable practice as one gets older.

According to the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario (PGIO), people gamble because doing so lets them forget their problems. They also think that this addictive behavior will help them solve their financial problems. However, the PGIO stressed that gambling has negative effects on a person. Aside from depression, gambling also causes stress, anxiety, and difficulty in sleeping. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think people addicted to gambling often get depressed?
·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, how else can gambling affect a person’s life?

Discussion B

·         How can addiction to gambling be prevented?
·         How do you think a chronic gambler can overcome his/her addiction?

July 25, 2015