INVESTIGATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENDER, LONELINESS AND PROBLEM GAMBLING
A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY OF UNDERGRADUATES IN OWERRI MUNICIPALITY, IMO STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Loneliness, Moderate Risk, Problem Gambling, Imo State
The study investigated whether gender and loneliness are related with problem gambling. Data was collected using cross-sectional survey design from a sample of 200 (80 female and 120 male) undergraduates of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. The participants’ age ranges from 18 to 31 years of age. The study was conducted using only the participants whose responses indicated the possibility of both moderate risk of problem
gambling and a high risk of problem gambling in the instruments administered. The Participants completed self-reported measures of the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) by Ferris and Wynne (2001) and the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale by Russell et al., (1980). Both instruments were used to conveniently sample participants. Hierarchical multiple regression results showed that loneliness (β = .20, p<.01) had a predictive positive relationship with problem gambling but gender (β = .03, p˃ .005) had no significant predictive relationship
with problem gambling. Discussion highlighted the need for well-equipped indoor games houses in tertiary institutions to enable undergraduates slowly make friends and connect with each other and as friends, seek peer supports when need arises. This finding further upholds
the relevance of Psychological Units in health centres owed by the tertiary institutions in Owerri Municipality.