EWU faculty member in the School of Social Work and Human Services, Kim Stansbury, has been chosen as one of the 10 inductees nationwide to the Hartford Faculty Scholars Program. It means that Stansbury will be provided with opportunities for professional development and $100,000 in funding over the next two years for research on topics related to improving health and care for older adults and their caregivers.
“I think the program is great,” said Stansbury about the Scholars Program. “Becoming a Hartford Scholar provides me the level of support and recognition that will significantly benefit my career development and consequently, my contributions to the field and social work education.”
Her research has to do with older people and gambling.
“The monetary support will be used to fund my research project, ‘Attitudes and Knowledge of Older Adults toward Casinos and Disordered Gambling,'” said Stansbury.
“It is my hope that findings from my research study will provide a foundation for interventions to help educate older adults understand the risks, and how to avoid them, as well as offer sources of support for those or someone they know who lose control of their gambling,” she said.
Stansbury has been concerned about a recent trend in problem gambling.
“For the past four years, I have focused exclusively on exploring mental health literacy in the contexts of depression and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults and African-American clergy,” said Stansbury.
“I have extended my research agenda to include problem gambling because I am concerned about the growing number of older adults who are presenting with gambling problems in treatment facilities. Further, numerous observations of the high volume of senior citizens who frequent casinos has heightened my awareness of the dire need to examine their perspectives on casino gambling and literacy concerning problem gambling.”
Stansbury said that while some older adults gamble without a problem, there is still that growing trend of gamblers who do have problems.
“With the legalization of gambling and the proliferation of casinos in the United States, casino gambling has become a new type of social activity for older adults,” said Stansbury. “Although a majority of older adults gamble responsibly, an increasing number of them are falling prey to problem gambling. My post-MSW clinical work and my own research have taught me that knowledge and attitudes are integral to the recognition, management, and prevention of mental disorders, in particular problem gambling. Lack of awareness of the potentially dangerous effects of casino gambling can be devastating to older adults’ financial, physical, and mental well-being.”
She sees the induction into the program as a positive step.
“The mentoring, networking opportunities, and trainings offered through the Hartford Scholars program will allow me to become a strong teacher, leader and scholar in gerontological social work.”
Letters to announce Stansbury’s selection have also been sent to the state of Washington congressional delegation, which may use her as an expert resource in the future.