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  • Author or Editor: Alex Blaszczynski x
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Background and aims

Gambling education programs typically focus on promoting gambling as a high-risk activity with harmful effects; however, these programs demonstrate limited effects on the prevention of gambling problems. This paper proposes a clear theoretical framework to inform the content and delivery of gambling education initiatives and draws on psychological and pedagogical research to address some of the practical issues associated with its implementation.

Methods

Literature was reviewed across fields of psychology, public health, and pedagogy to provide key recommendations to improve the outcomes of gambling education.

Results

Four key recommendations were made for the development of future gambling education programs centering on theoretical approach, specialized content, and delivery.

Discussion and conclusions

Recommended advancements are as follows: (a) evidence suggests shifting away from messages about gambling harms and instead applying a cognitive-developmental framework of problem gambling that may improve youth engagement by increasing personal relevance. (b) The cognitive model of problem gambling suggests that misconceptions about the profitability of gambling games (e.g., the gambler’s fallacy) play an important role in the development of problems and should be a key target for education. However, exposing such misconceptions requires the challenge of teaching the mathematical principles that underpin them. (c) The pedagogical field provides valuable insights into teaching complex concepts. Research that applies the conceptual change model to science education suggests misconceptions also facilitate learning new complex information, such as gambling-related mathematical concepts (i.e., randomness and statistics). (d) In addition, improvements in computer-assisted teaching methods provide opportunities to use simulations and visualizations to help teach abstract concepts and correct such misconceptions.

Open access
Authors: Thomas B. Swanton, Alex Blaszczynski, Cynthia Forlini, Vladan Starcevic and Sally M. Gainsbury

Background and aims

Despite the many benefits of technological advancements, problematic use of emerging technologies may lead to consumers experiencing harms. Substantial problems and behavioral addictions, such as gambling and gaming disorders, are recognized to be related to Internet-based technologies, including the myriad of new devices and platforms available. This review paper seeks to explore problematic risk-taking behaviors involving emerging technologies (e.g., online gambling and gaming, online sexual behaviors, and oversharing of personal information via social networking sites) that have the potential to lead to problematic outcomes for individuals.

Results and discussion

Previous research has focused on policy frameworks for responding to specific issues (e.g., online gambling), but a broader framework is needed to address issues as they emerge, given lags in governments and regulators responding to dynamically evolving technological environments. In this paper, key terms and issues involved are identified and discussed. We propose an initial framework for the relative roles and responsibilities of key stakeholder groups involved in addressing these issues (e.g., industry operators, governments and regulators, community groups, researchers, treatment providers, and individual consumers/end users).

Conclusion

Multidisciplinary collaboration can facilitate a comprehensive, unified response from all stakeholders that balances individual civil liberties with societal responsibilities and institutional duty of care.

Open access