Center of Excellence in Gambling Research

Key Personnel

Principal Investigator:

Wendy S. Slutske, Ph.D.

Co-Investigators:

Ian R. Gizer, Ph.D.

Thomas M. Piasecki, Ph.D.

News

Featured Op-Ed from Dr. Slutske: The Natural History of My Research on the Natural History of Gambling Disorder

Funding

The Center is supported by a grant from the National Center for Responsible Gaming.

Our Research

Only about 10% of individuals with disordered gambling (DG) seek treatment and there is evidence that studies based on this treatment-seeking minority may not generalize to the larger population of those with DG in the community. A challenge to conducting community-based studies of DG is the fact that it is relatively rare. We have taken on this challenge by assembling a unique suite of six community-based studies of DG along with a team of investigators who have the requisite expertise to interrogate these data.

Together, these projects will move us forward in answering the following pressing questions about the etiology and epidemiology of DG:

(1) Is living in a disadvantaged neighborhood a (potentially malleable) environmental cause of DG?

(2) Where among the ~20,000 genes in the human genome are the variants associated with the risk for DG?

(3) Do the genetic variants associated with DG overlap with the genetic variants associated with the risk for alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis use disorders and individual differences in personality traits?

(4) What is the long-term stability of DG?

(5) Are the correlates of DG similar across the lifespan?

Data Sources

Australian Twin Registry, Cohort 1 (ATR 1)  

ATR1 is a study of a large representative community-based sample of 4,764 individual twins born in 1964-1976 and were 32-43 years of age at the time of the data collection conducted in 2004-2007. The twins completed a structured diagnostic telephone interview. Neighborhood characteristics will be based on 2006 Australian Census data.

Australian Twin Registry, Cohort 2 (ATR2)

ATR2 is also a study of a large representative community-based sample of 3,348 individual twins. The twins were born in 1972-1979 and were 27-40 years of age at the time of the data collection conducted in 2005-2009. Similar to ATR1, the twins completed a computer-assisted diagnostic telephone interview. Neighborhood characteristics will be based on 2006 Australian Census data.

LifeGene

LifeGene is a prospective cohort study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.  Participants are randomly selected from a national Swedish address registry. From the participants personal web page there is also an opportunity to invite other members of the household to the study. Biological and physical assessments are conducted in person at a test center. A wide array of self-report measurements is assessed via a web portal.  As of the end of 2015, there were questionnaire data from more than 45,000 individuals, physical and biological samples from more than 25,000 individuals and extracted DNA on approximately 25,000 participants.

Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)

The ALSPAC, conducted at the University of Bristol in Southwest UK, is a multi-generation, geographically based cohort study following 14,541 mothers recruited during pregnancy (in 1990-1992), their offspring, and their partners. A wide range of measures have been collected, including paper-and-pencil and online questionnaires, clinical interviews, data obtained from biological samples (including genome-wide association data), and data extracted from administrative records (including neighborhood quality data).  

National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health)

The Add Health study is nationally-representative longitudinal US study that was initiated in 1994-95. Four waves of interview data have been collected, and a fifth wave of data collection is currently underway. Participants were 11–20 years of age at Wave I in 1994-1995, and were followed up at 12-21 years of age, 18-26 years of age, and 24-32 years of age. The sample sizes for the four waves were 14,738–20,745.  At each Wave, datasets of US Census indicators matched to the participants’ census tracts were developed and can be used to index neighborhood disadvantage.

Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study) is a longitudinal investigation of the health and behavior of a complete birth cohort of 1,037 (91% of consecutive births between April 1, 1972, and March 31, 1973) in Dunedin, New Zealand. Follow-up assessments were conducted with informed consent at 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 years of age when 95% of the living study members underwent assessment in 2010 to 2012. The most recent assessment, at age 45, was conducted in 2017. The Dunedin Study represents the longest longitudinal follow-up of DG yet conducted,

Recent Center Publications

Slutske, W.S., Piasecki, T.M., Deutsch, A.R., Statham. D.J., & Martin, N.G. (in press). Potential causal influence of neighborhood disadvantage on disordered gambling: Evidence from a multi-level discordant twin design. Clinical Psychological Science.

Davis, C.N., Slutske, W.S., Martin, N.G., Agrawal, A., & Lynskey, M.T. (2018, Epub). Genetic and environmental influences on gambling disorder liability: A replication and combined analysis of two twin studies. Psychological Medicine. Abstract

Slutske, W.S. (2018). Has the genetic contribution to the propensity to gamble increased? Evidence from national twin studies conducted in 1962 and 2002. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 21, 119-125. Abstract

Gambling Research by Center-Affilliated Researchers

2016

Lang, M., Lemenager, T., Streit, F., Fauth-Buhler, M., Frank., J., Juraeva, D., Witt, S.H., Degenhardt, F., Hofmann, A., Heilmann-Heimbach, S., Kiefer, F., Brors, B., Grabe, H., John, U., Bischof, A., Bischof, G., Volker, U., Homuth, G., Beutel, M., Lind, P., Medland, S., Slutske, W.S., Martin, N.G., Volzke, H., Nothen, M.M., Meyer, C., Rumpf, H., Wurst, F.M., Reitschel, M., & Mann, K.F. (2016).  Genome-wide association study of pathological gambling.  European Psychiatry, 36, 38-46.  Abstract

2015

Slutske, W.S., Deutsch, A.R., Statham, D.J., & Martin, N.G. (2015). Local area disadvantage and gambling involvement and disorder: Evidence for gene-environment correlation and interaction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 606-622. Abstract

Slutske, W.S., Piasecki, T.M., Deutsch, A.R., Statham. D.J. & Martin, N.G. (2015). Telescoping and gender differences in the time course of disordered gambling: Evidence from a general population sample. Addiction, 110, 144-151. Abstract

Scherrer, J.F., Xian, H., Slutske, W.S., Eisen, S.A., & Potenza, M.N. (2015).  Associations between obsessive-compulsive classes and pathological gambling in a national cohort of male twins.  JAMA Psychiatry, 72, 342-349. Abstract

2014

Slutske, W.S., Deutsch, A.R., Richmond-Rakerd, L.S., Chernyavskiy, P., Statham, D.J., & Martin, N.G. (2014). Test of a potential causal influence of earlier age of gambling initiation on gambling involvement and disorder: A multi-level discordant twin design.  Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 1177-1189. Abstract

Savage, J.E., Slutske, W.S., & Martin, N.G. (2014).  Personality and gambling involvement: A person-centered approach.  Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 1198-1211.  Abstract

Richmond-Rakerd, L.S., Slutske, W.S., Heath, A.C., & Martin, N.G. (2014).  Genetic and environmental influences on the ages of drinking and gambling initiation: Evidence for distinct aetiologies and sex differences. Addiction, 109, 323-331. Abstract

Slutske, W.S. & Richmond-Rakerd, L.S. (2014).  A closer look at the evidence for sex differences in the genetic and environmental influences on gambling in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health: From disordered to ordered gambling. Addiction, 109, 120-127. Abstract

2013

Slutske, W.S., Ellingson, J.M., Richmond-Rakerd, L.S., Zhu, G., & Martin, N.G. (2013). Shared genetic vulnerability for disordered gambling and alcohol use disorder in men and women: Evidence from a national community-based Australian twin study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16, 525-534.  Abstract

Slutske, W.S., Cho, S.B., Piasecki, T.M., & Martin, N.G. (2013). Genetic overlap between personality and risk for disordered gambling: Evidence from a national community-based Australian twin study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 250-255. Abstract

Slutske, W.S. (2013). Genetics of disordered gambling. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (eLS), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester.

Richmond-Rakerd, L.S., Slutske, W.S., & Piasecki, T.M. (2013).  Birth cohort and sex differences in the age of gambling initiation in the United States: Evidence from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. International Gambling Studies, 13, 417-429. Abstract

Lind, P.A., Zhu, G., Montgomery, G.W., Madden, P.A.F., Heath, A.C., Martin, N.G., & Slutske, W.S. (2013).  Genome-wide association study of a quantitative disordered gambling trait.  Addiction Biology, 18, 511-522.  Abstract

2012

Slutske, W.S., Moffitt, T.E., Poulton, R., & Caspi, A. (2012).  Undercontrolled temperament at age 3 predicts disordered gambling at age 32: A longitudinal study of a complete birth cohort.  Psychological Science, 23, 510-516. Abstract

2011

Slutske, W.S., Zhu, G., Meier, M.H., & Martin, N.G. (2011). Disordered gambling as defined by the DSM-IV and the South Oaks Gambling Screen: Evidence for a common etiologic structure. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 743-751. Abstract

2010

Slutske, W.S., Zhu, G., Meier, M.H., & Martin, N.G. (2010). Genetic and environmental influences on disordered gambling in men and women. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67, 624-630. Abstract

Slutske, W.S., Piasecki, T.M., Ellingson, J.M., & Martin, N.G. (2010).  The family history method in disordered gambling research: A comparison of reports from discordant twin pairs.  Twin Research and Human Genetics, 13, 340-346. Abstract

Slutske, W.S., Piasecki, T.M., Blaszczynski, A, & Martin, N.G. (2010).  Pathological gambling recovery in the absence of abstinence.  Addiction, 105, 2169-2175. Abstract

Slutske, W.S. (2010).  Why is natural recovery so common for addictive disorders? Addiction, 105, 1520-1521. Abstract

Ellingson, J.M., Slutske, W.S., & Martin, N.G. (2010). The reliability and validity of the family history method for assessing pathological gambling and gambling involvement.  Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 292-299. Abstract

2009

Slutske, W.S., Meier, M.H., Zhu, G., Statham, D.J., Blaszczynski, A., & Martin, N.G. (2009).  The Australian twin study of gambling (OZ-GAM): Rationale, sample description, predictors of participation, and a first look at sources of individual differences in gambling involvement.  Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12, 63-78. Abstract

Slutske, W.S., Blaszczynski, A., & Martin, N.G. (2009).  Sex differences in the rates of recovery, treatment-seeking, and natural recovery in pathological gambling: Results from an Australian community-based twin survey. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12, 425-432. Abstract

Goudriaan, A., Slutske, W.S., Krull, J.L., & Sher, K.J. (2009).  Longitudinal patterns of gambling activities and associated risk factors in college students.  Addiction, 104, 1219-1232. Abstract

2007

Xian, H., Scherrer, J.F., Slutske, W.S., Shah, K.R., Volberg, R., & Eisen, S.A. (2007).  Genetic and environmental contributions to pathological gambling symptoms in a 10-year follow-up.  Twin Research and Human Genetics, 10, 174-179.  Abstract

Slutske, W.S. (2007).  Longitudinal studies of gambling behavior.  In G. Smith, D. Hodgins, and R. Williams (Eds.), Research and Measurement Issues in Gambling Studies.  Elsevier: New York.

Scherrer, J.F., Slutske, W.S., Xian, H., Waterman, B., Shah, K.R., Volberg, R., Eisen, S.A. (2007).  Factors associated with pathological gambling at 10-year follow-up in a national sample of middle-aged men.  Addiction, 102, 970-978. Abstract

2006

Slutske, W.S. (2006). On the limits of cross-sectional retrospective data for characterizing the course of pathological gambling and its relation with comorbid psychopathology: A reply to Afifi, Cox, and Sareen (letter). American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 1297-1298.

Slutske, W.S. (2006).  Natural recovery and treatment-seeking in pathological gambling: Results of two US national surveys.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 297-302. Abstract

2005

Winters, K.C., Stinchfield, R.D., Botzet, A., & Slutske, W.S. (2005).  Pathways of youth gambling problem severity.  Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19, 104-107.  Abstract

Slutske, W.S., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E., & Poulton, R.  (2005). Personality and problem gambling: A prospective study of a birth cohort of young adults. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 769-775. Abstract

Scherrer, J.F., Xian, H., Shah, K., Volberg, R., Slutske, W., & Eisen, S.A. (2005). Effect of genes, environment, and co-occurring disorders on health related quality of life among problem and pathological gamblers.  Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 677-683. Abstract

2003

Slutske, W.S., Jackson, K.M., & Sher, K.J. (2003).  The natural history of problem gambling from age 18 to 29.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 263-274. Abstract

Sher, K.J., & Slutske, W.S. (2003).  Disorders of impulse control. In G. Stricker and T. Widiger (Eds.) Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology: Psychopathology (Volume 8) (pp. 195-228).  Wiley: New York.

2001

Slutske, W.S., Eisen, S.A., Xian, H., True, W.R., Lyons, M.J.,  Goldberg, J., & Tsuang, M.T. (2001). A twin study of the association between pathological gambling and antisocial personality disorder.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 297-308. Abstract

Eisen, S.A., Slutske, W.S., Lyons, M., Lassman, J., Xian, H., Toomey, R., Chantarujikapong, S., Tsuang, M. (2001). The genetics of pathological gambling.  Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 6, 195-204. Abstract

2000

Slutske, W.S., Eisen, S.A., True, W.R., Lyons, M.J., Goldberg, J., & Tsuang, M.T.  (2000). Common genetic vulnerability for pathological gambling and alcohol dependence in men.  Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 666-673. Abstract