Svenska SpelSvenska Spel

Kristina Sundqvist, doctoral student

Gaming research is a relatively young area of research in Sweden. ­Kristina Sundqvist is a registered psychologist specialising in addiction. She is one of the doctoral students funded by Svenska Spel’s Research Council* in 2013.

Can you tell us about your background?

“I am a trained psychologist and social educationist and am employed at Alna Sverige AB, where I work with various types of addiction in working life. I am, essentially, on leave of absence at the moment to complete my doctoral dissertation. I worked previously in a research project pertaining to motivating dialogues – a method that has proven to have beneficial effects when treating gaming problems. At that time, I also worked with patients who had gaming problems.”

What areas are you performing research in now and why?

“My dissertation project aims at generating more knowledge about the group with gaming problems in Sweden. The focus of the first ­article will be the personality factors that are linked to individuals with risky gaming habits. I also hope to look at various methods of extracting oneself from gaming problems. It is common knowledge that only a minority undergo treatment. Increased knowledge about the individ­uals behind the gaming problems will provide us with enhanced possibilities to develop preventive initiatives and treatments. I have recently finished gathering data and am in full swing with analysing the material.”

Have you noted any particular trend in society that is relevant to your research?

“Something that occurred in 2013 and which to a great degree impacts research into gaming problems was the launch of the latest version of DSM-5 (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which is a compilation of psychiatric diagnoses. The manual now classes gambling addiction as an addiction disorder in the same manner as substance addiction. By extension, this will probably mean more resources for research and treatment in this area.”

How do you view an operator, such as Svenska Spel
– how much responsibility do they bear?

“I believe they have substantial responsibility through their role as dominant player in the gaming market. They have taken a step in the right direction with the establishment of the Research Council.”

* Read more about Svenska Spel’s Research Council on here.