Stacked Deck: An Effective, School-Based Program for the Prevention of Problem Gambling

ArticleinThe Journal of Prevention 31(3):109-25 · June 2010with26 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s10935-010-0212-x · Source: PubMed
School-based prevention programs are an important component of problem gambling prevention, but empirically effective programs are lacking. Stacked Deck is a set of 5-6 interactive lessons that teach about the history of gambling; the true odds and "house edge"; gambling fallacies; signs, risk factors, and causes of problem gambling; and skills for good decision making and problem solving. An overriding theme of the program is to approach life as a "smart gambler" by determining the odds and weighing the pros versus cons of your actions. A total of 949 grade 9-12 students in 10 schools throughout southern Alberta received the program and completed baseline and follow-up measures. These students were compared to 291 students in 4 control schools. Four months after receiving the program, students in the intervention group had significantly more negative attitudes toward gambling, improved knowledge about gambling and problem gambling, improved resistance to gambling fallacies, improved decision making and problem solving, decreased gambling frequency, and decreased rates of problem gambling. There was no change in involvement in high risk activities or money lost gambling. These results indicate that Stacked Deck is a promising curriculum for the prevention of problem gambling.
    • "Measures of problem gambling were primarily used as proxies for harm. Five studies used problem gambling measures (DSM-IV-MR-J, SOGS-RA) as their primary outcome variable (Canale et al. 2016; Donati et al. 2014; Turner et al. 2008; Williams et al. 2004 Williams et al. , 2010), however many used other behavioural variables to measure intervention outcomes such as frequency, duration, and expenditure or bet size (Canale et al. 2016; Ferland et al. 2005; Gaboury and Ladouceur 1993; Walther et al. 2013; Williams 2002; Davis 2003; Williams et al. 2004 Williams et al. , 2010). Given gambling expenditure is considerably low among adolescents, and abstinence is not necessarily an adequate or realistic outcome, such measures by themselves may not be appropriate indicators of efficacy. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adolescent problem gambling prevalence rates are reportedly five times higher than in the adult population. Several school-based gambling education programs have been developed in an attempt to reduce problem gambling among adolescents; however few have been empirically evaluated. The aim of this review was to report the outcome of studies empirically evaluating gambling education programs across international jurisdictions. A systematic review following guidelines outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement searching five academic databases: PubMed, Scopus, Medline, PsycINFO, and ERIC, was conducted. A total of 20 papers and 19 studies were included after screening and exclusion criteria were applied. All studies reported intervention effects on cognitive outcomes such as knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs. Only nine of the studies attempted to measure intervention effects on behavioural outcomes, and only five of those reported significant changes in gambling behaviour. Of these five, methodological inadequacies were commonly found including brief follow-up periods, lack of control comparison in post hoc analyses, and inconsistencies and misclassifications in the measurement of gambling behaviour, including problem gambling. Based on this review, recommendations are offered for the future development and evaluation of school-based gambling education programs relating to both methodological and content design and delivery considerations. Full text available at:
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016
    • "Thus, although gambling fallacies are etiologically related to problem gambling, there will always be limited utility to problem gambling prevention and intervention methods that rely exclusively on rectifying erroneous beliefs about the odds involved or how gambling works (see also Williams & Connolly, 2006). Rather, as is the case with addictions more generally, effective prevention of problem gambling requires the employment of a wide array of educational and policy initiatives to address its multifaceted biopsychosocial etiology (Williams, West, & Simpson, 2012; Williams et al., 2010). Despite the strengths of the current research design, there are a couple of limitations that require acknowledgment. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cognitive model of problem gambling posits that erroneous gambling-related fallacies are key in the development and maintenance of problem gambling. However, this contention is based on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal associations between these constructs, and gambling fallacy instruments that may have inflated this associated by their inclusion of problem gambling symptomatology. The current research re-evaluates the relationship between problem gambling and gambling-specific erroneous cognitions in a 5-year longitudinal study of gambling using a psychometrically sound measure of erroneous gambling-related cognitions. The sample used in this study (n = 4,121) was recruited from the general population in Ontario, Canada, and the retention rate over 5 years was exceptionally high (93.9%). The total sample was similar, in age and gender distributions, to the census data at the time of data collection for Canadian adults (18-24 years, n = 265, 55.8% female; 25-44 years, n = 1,667, 56.4% female; 45-64 years, n = 1,731, 55.4% female; 65 + years, n = 458, 44.75% female). Results of both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses confirm that gambling-specific fallacies appear to be etiologically related to the subsequent appearance of problem gambling, but to a weaker degree than previously presumed, and in a bidirectional manner. (PsycINFO Database Record
    Article · Jul 2016
    • "These include perceptions of risk in performing the behavior; notions of self-efficacy; and intentions and/or motivations to change the behavior [29]. This situation has led researchers to advocate for consideration of alternate frameworks that could more accurately describe behavioral decision-making processes [31] and behavioral change mechanisms [32] for the development of youth DG educational initiatives. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) is one particular model that has received increasing attention in the youth gambling domain. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While gambling has been traditionally viewed as an adult activity there has been a growing body of research suggesting its popularity amongst adolescents. Despite findings that suggest that most youth gamble in a relatively responsible manner and have few negative gambling-related behaviors there is strong evidence that they constitute a vulnerable group for gambling disorders. The current paper addresses our current knowledge concerning the prevention of youth gambling problems and provides new potential strategies for helping young individuals experiencing a gambling disorder. While the research lacks strong evidence for best practices, a number of novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of gambling disorders for youth are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016
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