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Understanding Chinese international students' gambling experiences in New Zealand

ABSTRACT This research investigated Chinese international students' gambling experiences in New Zealand. It explored why some students become involved in gambling and how their gambling behaviour changes over time. Initial and follow-up interviews were conducted with nine male and three female students. Initial interviews focused on participants' gambling biographies in China and New Zealand. Cultural influences on their gambling experiences, and possible links between the development of gambling problems and their study experiences in New Zealand, were discussed. Follow-up interviews gathered further information on participants' gambling experiences, paying particular attention to their gambling activities over the six months prior to, and then after, the initial interviews. The methodology and analysis in this study were informed by a narrative approach. Findings suggest that Chinese international students rarely reported that they had problems relating to gambling in China. However, some participants in this study presented as problem gamblers in New Zealand. Study shock, acculturation stress, not feeling welcomed by the host society and achievement anxiety, all played a part in participants' problem gambling in New Zealand. These participants claimed that they usually started gambling recreationally, but then gradually shifted to self-reported problem gamblers. Problem gamblers were distinguished by prolonged gambling hours, wagering greater amounts of money, an augmented craving for winning money, and an inability to stop gambling at will in a single session. In this study, many participants who might have a gambling problem, had achieved some success in changing their gambling behaviour. Filial piety, acknowledgement of the importance of family, peer models, the experience of success, and financial hardship were some of the catalysts for stopping gambling. In addition, support from families, the community, professional services and exclusion programmes also assisted participants to address problems related to gambling. Successful re-rooting in New Zealand is significant in participants' post-change life. Positive post-change lifestyles involving aspects such as spirituality, music, study and work, supported Chinese international students to maintain change. This research demonstrates multiple levels of analysis, which adds to our knowledge about the socio-cultural meanings of gambling among Chinese international students. A number of recommendations are made for preventing and reducing the negative consequences of gambling for students.
Type of thesis
Li, W. W. (2007). Understanding Chinese international students’ gambling experiences in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2409
The University of Waikato
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