University students are in a transitional period in their
lives. While moving from childhood to adulthood, they make
up a distinct group who may become involved in particular
activities or adopt certain behaviours as they make lifestyle
Anne-Marie Sullivan, assistant professor in the School of
Human Kinetics and Recreation, is embarking on her doctoral
research to address questions related to gambling in university
So far, much research on this topic has focused on quantifying
rates and percentages of gambling. Ms. Sullivan asserts
that, “we need to know why people gamble, to go beyond
the fact that people do gamble.”
While only a small percentage of the general population
suffers from pathological (problem) gambling, recent research
has shown that university students have the highest rate
of gambling overall, and therefore the highest percentage
of problem gamblers.
University students, as a whole, often indulge in risk-taking
behaviours, which can have both positive and negative effects.
Ms. Sullivan seeks to determine whether gambling is a leisure
pursuit, or a problem with university students, and whether
gambling can be understood in the same way as these other
risk-taking activities. Furthermore, she intends to compare
the university population to other populations, as well
as distinguish factors that may influence which students
will outgrow pathological gambling versus those who will
make it a lifelong habit.
Ms. Sullivan’s work will begin by surveying about
300 students at Memorial, and then selecting 40-45 informants
from the survey results to participate in eight focus groups.
As well as her results, she is looking forward to exploring
different methodological approaches, data collection, and
For more information, or to participate in Ms. Sullivan’s
study, she may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by telephone at 737-4453.