The clinical and social construction of pathological gamblers in Macau

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Chan, Chi Chuen (2011) The clinical and social construction of pathological gamblers in Macau. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The present study sought to understand the social and clinical characteristics of a group of pathological gamblers in Macau known as Paichai (扒仔). This study recruited participants from the casinos in Macau. Fifteen participants, all active gamblers and ranging in age from 24 to 53 years, were recruited and were repeatedly observed and interviewed. After initial screening, there were four non-Paichais, which were taken as a comparative sample. Further, the participants were assessed by the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) of the Canada Problem Gambling Index (CPGI) (Ferris & Wynne, 2001). There were a number of significant findings in this investigation. Firstly, the Paichais could be classified as antisocial-impulsive gamblers according to Blaszczynski and Nower’s (2002) pathways model of problem and pathological gambling. The development of pathological gambling among the participants was found to follow a linear model with a strong stage-based trajectory. In the first stage, the participants often recalled an early involvement of gambling during childhood. The majority of them reported coming from a family environment which encouraged gambling. They had a history of conduct disorder prior to the acquisition of their gambling habits. With increased involvement in gambling, these gamblers entered stage two where the participants often reported more frequent involvement of casino gambling. With the increase of time in the casino, the Paichais entered stage three of their development process. In this stage, the gamblers demonstrated significant detachment from the outside world as they spent most of their waking hours in the casinos. The current study attempted to understand the development of pathological gambling amongst these individuals from the particular social and cultural perspectives of Macau.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1103 Clinical Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1702 Cognitive Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords pathological gamblers, problem gambling, addictive behaviour, Paichai, Macau, Chinese, China, casinos, sociocultural, social-cultural, emotional disorders
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