“It's like you're not even there…” : Gambling harm experienced by children of gambling parents

Journal article


Suomi, Aino, Bailey, Megan, Lucas, Nina, Dowling, Nicki and Delfabbro, Paul. (2023). “It's like you're not even there…” : Gambling harm experienced by children of gambling parents. Children and Youth Services Review. 145, p. Article 106800. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106800
AuthorsSuomi, Aino, Bailey, Megan, Lucas, Nina, Dowling, Nicki and Delfabbro, Paul
Abstract

Child wellbeing is known to be negatively affected by parental gambling, but relatively little is known about the first-hand experiences of individuals exposed to parental gambling as children. This study involved in-depth interviews with 20 Australian adults who had experienced harm due to parental gambling as children to gain insights into the inter-generational psychological and social impacts of parental gambling. Findings highlight the significance of financial instability and parental absence, resulting in strained family relationships and sometimes conflict and violence. In particular, participants reported that, as children, they were at increased risk of abuse by the gambling parent due to constant stress, financial strain, short tempers and parental aggression, which were often trigged by sudden gambling losses. Many also reported being left at risk by a lack of adult supervision or being left with unsafe adults or peers. In some cases, participants had needed to adopt parental roles by taking responsibility of household chores, younger siblings and finances. The combination of financial strain and parentification made it challenging for the participants to complete their formal education. Insights were gained into how these earlier experiences contributed to ongoing relational and psychological difficulties for the participants. Taken together, the findings emphasise the need to recognise problem gambling in households as a child protection concern with long-term consequences for individuals growing up in problem gambling households.

Keywordsproblem gambling; child wellbeing; gambling harm; child abuse; child neglect; parental gambling
Year2023
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Journal citation145, p. Article 106800
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN0190-7409
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106800
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85145861353
Page range1-9
FunderVictorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Dec 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Dec 2022
Deposited08 Nov 2023
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