One size doesn't fit all: experiences of family members of Indigenous gamblers

Document Type


Publication details

Holdsworth, L, Breen, H, Hing, N & Gordon, A 2013, 'One size doesn't fit all: experiences of family members of Indigenous gamblers', Australian Aboriginal Studies, vol. 1, pp. 73-84.

Peer Reviewed



This study explores help-seeking and help-provision by family members of Indigenous people experiencing gambling problems, a topic that previously has been ignored. Data are analysed from face-to-face interviews with 11 family members of Indigenous Australians who gamble regularly. The results confirm that substantial barriers are faced by Indigenous Australians in accessing formal help services and programs, whether for themselves or a loved one. Informal help from family and friends appears more common. In this study, this informal help includes emotional care, practical support and various forms of 'tough love'. However, these measures are mostly in vain. Participants emphasise that 'one size doesn't fit all' when it comes to avenues of gambling help for Indigenous peoples. Efforts are needed to identify how Indigenous families and extended families can best provide social and practical support to assist their loved ones to acknowledge and address gambling problems.

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