Maria Heiskanen

M.Soc.Sc, PhD student

I am currently a PhD student at the Department of Social Research in the University of Helsinki, Finland. The topic of my PhD dissertation is problem gambling as a well-being deficit and as a challenge to the Finnish welfare system.

I am interested in the phenomenon of problem gambling in the lives of the gamblers. How devastating can a gambling problem be? What kind of consequences it has on different areas of life? Can excessive gambling lead to deprivation? On the other hand I am studying problem gambling in the lives of people with different backgrounds and socioeconomic status. It has been researched, that gambling or problem gambling may be more common among the underprivileged strata of the population. With qualitative research methods, I will dig deeper into the connection of deprivation and problem gambling. My research data includes interviews of problem gamblers and short interviews of social service directors in Finland. With the data I will also study the place of problem gambling in the Finnish welfare state system. As a whole, I will draw a picture of problem gambling as a new phenomenon in the well-being and welfare fields.

Currently my research is funded by The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Previously, I have got a research grant from The Research Foundation of the University of Helsinki. I have also worked as a researcher at The National Institute for Health and Welfare in the Gambling Addiction Research Group.









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