J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs.  2020 Jun;29(2):119-132. 10.12934/jkpmhn.2020.29.2.119.

“Getting Involved in Gambling as a Way of Escaping from Violence”: The Meaning of Gambling based on the Experience of Domestic Violence in Problematic Gamblers

  • 1Graduate Student, Department of Nursing, Inha University, Incheon, Korea
  • 2Professor, Department of Nursing, Inha University, Incheon, Korea
  • 3Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea


The purpose of this study was to understand the meaning of gambling addiction from the perspective of problematic gamblers through their life stories.
A narrative approach was utilized for this study. The data were collected from June 1 to September 30, 2019, from a purposive sample of three participants by using in-depth interviews, observations, and note-taking.
The participants told their life stories from childhood, stressing the experiences of being abused physically and emotionally by their own families. Their life stories commonly revealed that they became involved in gambling to escape the influence of the violence they had suffered. Due to their childhood abuse experiences, they had various problems, including distorted values toward money, low self-esteem, ambivalent feelings, and a lack of interpersonal coping skills, which often contributed to their addiction problems.
This study is meaningful in that it tried to understand the current addiction problem by focusing on the individual life experiences from the past to the present. Addiction recovery involves not only stopping the problematic behavior but also forming a new life meaning to lead a confident and independent future.


Gambling; Child; Domestic violence; 도박; 아동기; 가정폭력
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