Sylvia Kairouz, associate professor in Concordia’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, has been awarded a research chair on gambling, supported by $947,738 from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC). It is the first university research chair in Quebec to exclusively support gambling research and the only chair awarded as part of the 2011-12 Actions concertées competition.
Kairouz (at left) explains that the grant will fund research into the risks associated with gambling, which will then be used to help design prevention measures. “It’s the foundation for a research program that is broad enough to give a complete and integrated understanding of gambling patterns,” she says.
Funds will be set aside for capacity building — attracting students and researchers who are interested in studying gambling — and to support the transfer of knowledge between researchers and stakeholders in the province’s health and social services network, and treatment centres.
In 2009, Kairouz co-authored a survey of gambling in Quebec, entitled Portrait du jeu au Québec: Prévalence, incidence et trajectoires sur quatre ans, which aimed to describe gambling problems, patterns and associated substance-use behaviours in the Quebec population.
In 2012, she published a new study using the same data, which examined sociodemographic profiles, game-play patterns and level of addictive behaviour in adults who gamble online and offline. The study found a correlation between online gambling and alcohol and cannabis use.
The field of gambling research is relatively new, as compared to research into other addictive behaviours, Kairouz says, which means there is still plenty of work to do. “Many things that were done 20 years ago in alcohol addiction research haven’t been addressed in gambling research. I think that this is one fascinating aspect of the domain.”
Concordia’s Interim Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, Graham Carr says
the gambling research undertaken by Kairouz and her colleagues has helped to raise Concordia’s profile as a university that supports innovative research into new areas that directly affect the well-being of society.
“The groundbreaking research undertaken by Dr. Kairouz and her colleagues has already attracted a lot of international collaboration and support. The awarding of this new chair is a major accomplishment for Dr. Kairouz personally and for Concordia as a leader in research on risk behaviour,” he says. “The chair position attests to the importance of understanding the impact of gambling on society, whether here in Quebec or in the rest of the world, and it bolsters the contribution that research and graduate training at Concordia can make to addressing this important topic.”
• “Online Gamblers More Susceptible to Substance Use” — NOW, March 26, 2012
• Concordia’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology
• Sylvia Kairouz faculty profile
• Programme Actions concertées