To examine the association between pathological gambling (PG) and attempted suicide in a nationally representative sample of Canadians.
Data came from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 1.2, conducted in 2002, in which 36 984 subjects, aged 15 years or older, were interviewed. Logistic regression was performed with attempted suicide (in the past year) as the dependent variable. The independent variables were PG, major depression, alcohol dependence, drug dependence, and mental health care (in the past year), as well as a range of sociodemographic variables. Survey weights and bootstrap methods were used to account for the complex survey design.
In the final logistic regression model, which included terms for PG, major depression, alcohol dependence, and mental health care, as well as age, sex, education, and income, the odds ratio for PG and attempted suicide was 3.43 (95% confidence interval, 1.37 to 8.60).
PG (in the past year) and attempted suicide (in the past year) are associated in a nationally representative sample of Canadians. However, it is not possible to say from these data whether this represents a causal relation.
Youth involved in the juvenile justice system are at high risk for mental health problems, particularly depression. Furthermore, these youth often present with a history of childhood maltreatment. Despite research consistently demonstrating a link between childhood maltreatment and depression, our understanding of intervening factors of this relationship remains limited. This study examined impulsivity, hopelessness, and substance use as potential explanatory variables in the relationship between cumulative childhood maltreatment and depression severity among 110 incarcerated youth. The data were analyzed using path analysis. As hypothesized, cumulative maltreatment maintained a strong direct relation with depression severity in the context of the additional variables in the final model. Cumulative maltreatment also had an indirect relation with depression severity through both impulsivity and hopelessness. Contrary to expectation, substance use was not an explanatory variable in the model. These findings suggest that impulsivity and hopelessness might be important factors to consider in future studies on the relation between childhood maltreatment and depression symptoms among incarcerated youth.
To investigate the nature and extent of gambling problems in a region of Canada in which legalized gambling activities were expanded during the 1990s.
A standardized telephone interview was conducted with a random sample of 738 community-dwelling adults (response rate 74%) in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
According to traditional classification criteria, the lifetime prevalence of "probable pathological gambling" was 2.6%. A further 3.0% of the sample met criteria for traditionally defined "problem gambling," and evidence suggests that both types of gamblers share several characteristics. Social or recreational gamblers significantly differed on several variables from individuals who reported gambling problems.
The 2.6% prevalence figure is the highest yet reported in a Canadian epidemiological survey and was obtained in a region that developed a more liberal attitude toward gambling in the 1990s. Further, a continuum of severity was demonstrated by scores on the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), and a clear and consistent distinction between problem and probable pathological gambling was not apparent. Frequenting casinos and using video poker and slot machines, rather than buying lottery tickets, distinguishes problem or pathological gamblers from recreational gamblers.
Suicide attempts in kleptomania have received little investigation. This study examined rates, correlates, and predictors of suicide attempts in kleptomania. A total of 107 adolescent and adult subjects (n = 32 [29.9%] males) with DSM-IV kleptomania were assessed with standard measures of symptom severity, psychiatric comorbidity, and functional impairment. Subjects had high rates of suicide attempts (24.3%). The suicide attempt in 92.3% of those who attempted suicide was attributed specifically to kleptomania. Suicide attempts were associated with current and life-time bipolar disorder (p = .047) and lifetime personality disorder (p = .049). Individuals with kleptomania have high rates of suicide attempts. Bipolar disorder is associated with suicide attempts in individuals with kleptomania and underscores the importance of carefully assessing and monitoring suicidality in patients with kleptomania.