CAGR Conference – Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor MarcAntonio Spada, London South Bank University: The role of metacognitive beliefs in predicting problem gambling: A review.
  • Professor Gerda Reith, University of Glasgow: Gambling related harms: Language, policy and the process of moving towards a public health perspective in Great Britain

Professor Marcantonio Spada

Marcantonio Spada is Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health in the School of Applied Sciences where he is the Head of the Division of Psychology and Deputy Lead of the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research. He is also a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience King’s College London, a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the Sigmund Freud University Milan/Vienna, a Director of UK SMART Recovery, and a Trustee of GambleAware.

Prior to his current appointment he was Professor of Psychological Therapies in the School of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University and Consultant and Trust Lead in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for North East London NHS Foundation Trust. Before joining London South Bank University Professor Spada held Principal Lectureships in Psychology at the University of Roehampton and at London Metropolitan University.

Professor Spada has made a significant contribution to the understanding of metacognitive mechanisms underlying general vulnerability to addictive behaviours, leading to the development of a novel clinical model which integrates knowledge on attention, perseverative thinking and metacognition into a single ‘architecture’, aimed at explaining the unfolding of addictive behaviour and the application of metacognitive focused techniques in its treatment. Professor Spada is now leading research on testing the efficacy of metacognitive focused therapy protocols for addictive behaviours.

Abstract: The Role of Metacognitive Beliefs in Predicting Gambling: A Review

Over the last twenty-five years metacognitive theory has provided a novel framework, in the form of the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model, for conceptualizing psychological distress. The S-REF model proposes that psychological distress persists because of unhelpful coping styles which are activated and maintained by metacognitive beliefs. In this keynote address I will illustrate the role of metacognitive beliefs in predicting gambling. I will also outline how Metacognitive Therapy may be adapted to treat problem gambling with the central objective of fostering change in metacognitive beliefs.

Professor Gerda Reith

Gerda Reith is a Professor of Social Science at the University of Glasgow. She conducts research and writes on issues related to the social, commercial and environmental determinants of gambling, and the relation of gambling harms with social inequalities and public health. Her interests extend to the political economy of gambling and its relation to wider issues of behaviour and governance in global consumer societies.

Professor Reith’s research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), as well as various governmental and charitable organisations. She has carried out projects exploring the ways that gambling behaviour changes over time, and the role of the social, physical and commercial environment on those changes; on the impacts of gambling on social networks; and on its relationships with crime and debt. Current research projects involve an NIHR-funded study of football fans and betting; a study funded by the MRC on adolescent gambling and social networks, and an ARC project on mobile gambling in Australia. She is also involved in pilot work exploring the spread of gambling in Malawi.

She has worked with policy, regulatory and third sector organisations, both nationally and internationally, to inform policy and strategy on gambling and public health. She is currently a member of the Howard League’s Commission on Problem Gambling and Crime. She has published extensively on these topics, and her work has been translated into a number of languages, including Korean, Chinese, Spanish and Hungarian. Her book, The Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture, won the Philip Abrams Prize for the best book in sociology in 2000. Her latest book is Addictive Consumption: Capitalism, Modernity and Excess, and is published by Routledge.

Abstract: Gambling related harms: Moving towards a public health perspective in Great Britain

This talk will provide an overview of the increasing focus on gambling as a public health issue in Britain in recent years. I will draw briefly on the international evidence to highlight the distinctiveness of this approach in comparison to perspectives that focus on ideas about individual disorder and ‘responsible’ gambling, before turning to look at current landscape in Britain. As part of this, I will look at some of the commercial, policy and regulatory factors that contribute to the generation of harms, and consider what work still needs to be done in this area.