Internationally longitudinal studies into understanding gambling behavior are a relatively new area of endeavor. The New Zealand National Gambling Study is a significant contribution to the research field.
The National Gambling Study (NGS) is the first New Zealand population representative longitudinal study into gambling, health, lifestyles, and attitudes about gambling. The NGS started in 2012 with an initial randomly selected national sample of 6,251 people aged 18 years and older living in private households, who were interviewed face-to-face with computer assistance. Participants remaining in the study have been re-interviewed in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Because of the unique design of the study, changes in the behaviour of individual gamblers can be studied over time.
Survey questionnaires include questions on leisure activities and gambling participation, past gambling and recent gambling behaviour change, problem gambling, life events, attitudes towards gambling, mental health, substance use/misuse, health conditions, social connectedness, level of deprivation and demographics. The study complements the information from the Health and Lifestyles Survey.
A suite of research reports from the study have been published by the AUT-Gambling and Addictions Research Centre. The reports include information on:
- national-level epidemiological changes in gambling participation in New Zealand
- problem gambling in New Zealand
- risk and protective factors
- groups such as Māori and Pacific peoples who historically have had high rates of problem gambling
- attitudes towards gambling
- new cases of problem gambling and the factors that influence peoples transitions to and from risky levels of gambling
- patterns of changes over time in gambling behaviour (including relapse) and harm, and explanations for the changes.
The published reports and questionnaires can be found on the AUT website.