John P. Hoffmann, a professor of sociology at Brigham Young University, examined the harm caused by gambling. Gambling has generally been placed in the category of victimless crimes, but he argued this terminology is not correct.
Problems such as gambling have substantial negative effects on marital relations and family functioning. Many people gamble with no apparent problems, Hoffmann admitted, but studies point to about 9% of gamblers having some risks, with another 1.5% classified as problem gamblers, and 0.9% as pathological gamblers.
The percentages might seem low, but they translate into substantial numbers -- millions of people, in fact -- when you consider the total population of the United States, he commented.
When it comes to family life Hoffmann observed that pathological gambling is associated with mental health problems and divorce. When gambling reaches problem levels, children are also often acutely affected. Not only does it influence the time parents spend at home, but children also suffer from a sense of diminished personal attachment to their parents and a loss of trust in them.
In my mind, one of the colossal failures of the church in the last generation. Read it all
Posted September 14, 2009 at 6:44 am
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