Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.



Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Massachusetts passed legislation in the fall of 2012 to allow the construction of three casinos and a slot parlor in the state. The prevalence of problem gambling in the state and in areas where casinos will be constructed is of particular interest. The goal is to evaluate the change in prevalence after construction of the casinos, using a multi-mode address based sample survey. The objective of this thesis is to evaluate and describe ways of using statistical inference to estimates prevalence rates in finite populations. Four methods were considered in an attempt to evaluate the prevalence of problem gambling in the context of the gambling study. These methods were evaluated unconditionally and conditionally, controlling for gender, using mean square error (MSE) as a measure of accuracy. The simple mean, the post-stratified mean, the best linear unbiased predictor (BLUP), and the empirical best linear unbiased predictor (EBLUP) were considered in three examples.

Conditional analyses of a population with N=1,000 and a crude problem gambling rate of 1.5, samples of n=200 led to the simple mean and the post-stratified mean to perform better in certain situations, as measured by their low MSE values. When there are less females than expected in a sample, the post-stratified mean produces a lower mean MSE over the 10,000 simulations. When there are more females than expected in a sample, the simple mean produces a lower mean MSE over the 10,000 simulations. Conditional analysis provided more appropriate results than unconditional analysis.


First Advisor

Edward J Stanek III