Sansanwal, Rayna M., Jeffrey L. Derevensky, and Belle Gavriel-Fried. “What Mental Health Professionals in Israel Know and Think about Adolescent Problem Gambling.” International Gambling Studies (early view, online first).
Mental health professionals are well versed in addressing multiple adolescent risky behaviours and play a primary role in the identification of and referral process and service provision for young people who engage in such behaviours. Given their ‘person-in-environment’ approach, training in multi-sectoral collaboration, and awareness of social policies, social workers are especially equipped to provide needed mental health services to young people. The aim of the current study was to examine Israeli mental health professionals’ awareness of and attitudes towards adolescent high-risk behaviours, including gambling. Child psychologists, social workers and school counsellors (N = 273) completed an online survey addressing concerns related to high-risk behaviours. Findings revealed that social workers perceived gambling as being among one of the least concerning adolescent mental health issues and reported feeling the least confident in their abilities to provide services to young people with gambling problems. The results suggest the importance of youth gambling addictions being incorporated into social work training curricula.
Romantic notions and critical theories of play describe an assault by rationalization processes on the free and spontaneous nature of play. Other theories seek to describe the dialectical nature between rationalization and freedom, between routine, and magic, and between planning and spontaneity. This article seeks to focus on the rationalization processes of play and to examine whether and in what dimensions, these processes shape the characteristics of play and hamper its spontaneity and freedom. Examination of these processes, performed by socio-historical analysis of legal gambling in Israel, shows that rationalization processes were active on both the practical and technological levels, and on the discursive level of the games of chance. Nevertheless, the characteristics of freedom, joy and spontaneity appeared only on the discursive level of the game and were designed to deliberately serve the economic interests of the various agents in the Israeli gambling field.
This study examines the Jewish Israeli public’s attitudes towards gambling, how they vary between various socio-demographic subgroups, and the association between gambling attitudes and gambling behaviour. In April 2014, 1000 Jewish Israeli adults (49.6% of them women) aged 18–67 (M = 40.28, SD = 14.07), responded to an online questionnaire that included the ATGS-8 (Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale), PGSI (Problem Gambling Severity Index) and gambling behaviour scales. The findings suggest that the Jewish Israeli public tends to have a negative attitude towards gambling – albeit less so among men and the secular population than among women and observant (Traditional, Religious or Orthodox) individuals, respectively. No significant differences were found between respondents with respect to age or levels of education. A positive association was found between attitudes and gambling behaviour, and differences were found between gambling severity categories, with low-risk gamblers exhibiting a more positive attitude towards gambling than non-problem gamblers. The findings of this study provide a snapshot of the attitudes of the Jewish Israeli public towards gambling, and may potentially provide a benchmark for further studies in Israel and elsewhere.