The relationship of gambling to intimate partner violence and child maltreatment in a nationally representative sample
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It has been suggested that family violence is associated with gambling problems. However, to date, this relationship has not been thoroughly investigated using representative data. The purpose of the current study was to analyze the relationship between gambling problems and the perpetration and victimization of intimate partner violence (including dating and marital violence) and child maltreatment (including minor child assault and severe child abuse) using nationally representative data. Data were drawn from the US National Comorbidity Survey Replication (n=3334; 18years and older). Multiple logistic and multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the relationships between gambling and the perpetration and victimization of dating violence, marital violence, and child maltreatment. The results indicated that problem gambling was associated with increased odds of the perpetration of dating violence (Adjusted Odds Ratios (AORs) ranged from 2.2 to 4.2), while pathological gambling was associated with increased odds of the perpetration of dating violence (AORs ranged from 5.7 to 11.9), severe marital violence (AOR=20.4), and severe child abuse (AOR=13.2). Additionally, dating violence, marital violence, and severe child abuse victimization were associated with increased odds of gambling problems. The results were attenuated when adjusted for lifetime mental disorders. These findings can be used as evidence-based research to inform healthy public gambling polices and inform prevention and intervention efforts.
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