Studies have consistently shown that people’s attitude toward gambling is a good predictor of how much they gamble and how likely they are to experience gambling-related problems (Chiu & Storm, 2010; Delfabbro, Lambos, King, & Puglies, 2009; Delfabbro & Thrupp, 2003; Orford, Griffiths, Wardle, Sproston, & Erens, 2009; Williams, Connolly, Wood, & Nowatzki, 2006; Wood & Griffiths, 2004). Such findings lend support to theories implying that attitudes play an important role in determining people’s intentions to act and, indirectly, their actual behavior, such as the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991; Fishbein, 2000). It is also known that the prevalence of problem gambling is higher among adolescents than adults (Gupta et al., 2013; Nowak & Aloe, 2014; Volberg, Gupta, Griffiths, Olason, & Delfabbro, 2010). Consequently, knowledge of factors that may influence attitudes toward gambling over time in this age group may point to important indicators in terms of risk factors as well as preventive and therapeutic priorities.
Previous studies across different countries have shown that young males typically hold more positive attitudes toward gambling than women (Buczkiewicz, Griffiths, & Rigbye, 2007; Hanss, Mentzoni, Delfabbro, Myrseth, & Pallesen, 2014; Jackson, Dowling, Thomas, Bond, & Patton, 2008; Moore & Ohtsuka, 1997; Wood & Griffiths, 1998). Other individual factors such as personality also appear to play a role. For instance, Taormina (2009) found that Neuroticism and Gregariousness were both positively related to acceptant attitudes toward gambling, whereas Hanss et al. (2014) showed that Agreeableness was negatively associated with acceptant attitudes toward gambling. It has also been reported that impulsivity and sensation seeking both correlate significantly and positively with acceptant attitudes toward gambling (Breen & Zuckerman, 1999; Hanss et al., 2014; Lee, 2013; McDaniel & Zuckerman, 2003). In relation to social influence, it has been found that social constraints in terms of parental monitoring are inversely related to acceptant attitudes toward gambling among adolescents (Magoon & Ingersoll, 2006). Additionally, participation in gambling by family and friends and approval of gambling have been shown to be positively associated with acceptant attitudes toward gambling, but not if others close to the individual have experienced gambling problems (Hanss et al., 2014; Orford et al., 2009).
Although some factors that relate to attitudes toward gambling have been identified, there is significant shortage of knowledge of factors that may influence changes of attitudes toward gambling over time. In a trend study from Macao, the results suggested that there was development of a more negative attitude toward gambling as a consequence of the local gambling industry being deregulated and expanded (Vong, 2009). Some central theories of attitude change have put much emphasis on behavior when it comes to attitude change and formation. According to the theory of cognitive dissonance, an unpleasant arousal/dissonance occurs when a person in absence of external pressure behaves in contradiction to an initial attitude. The dissonance will motivate attitude change in line with the behavior and as such eliminate the dissonance (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959). According to self-perception theory, individuals typically infer which attitudes they possess based on their own behavior, without any preceding unpleasant cognitions or feelings (Bem, 1967), hence this theory seems to explain attitude formation more than attitude change.
In Norway it is illegal to gamble for minors (<18 years old). During the transition from 17 to 18 years of age, it is reasonable to assume that changes in gambling attitudes can occur. In the present study, attitudinal data were used from a random sample of Norwegians, first (Wave 1) when 17.5 years old (i.e., when they could not legally gamble) and then one year later (Wave 2; when gambling was legally available). The following questions were investigated: (i) Will attitudes toward gambling change when adolescents transcend from underage to legal gambling age? (ii) Which factors (i.e., gender, personality, social influence and/or gambling behavior) explain change in gambling attitudes during the transitional period?
Arnett, J. (1994). Sensation seeking – A new conceptualization and a new scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 16, 289–296.
Bem, D. J. (1967). Self-perception: An alternative interpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomena. Psychological Review, 74, 183–200.
Breen, R. B., & Zuckerman, M. (1999). ‘Chasing’ in gambling behavior: Personality and cognitive determinants. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 1097–1111.
Buczkiewicz, M., Griffiths, M. D., & Rigbye, J. (2007). Adolescent attitudes towards gambling: Some preliminary findings. Education and Health, 25, 6–9.
Chiu, J., & Storm, L. (2010). Personality, perceived luck and gambling attitudes as predictors of gambling involvement. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26, 205–227.
Delfabbro, P., Lambos, C., King, D., & Puglies, S. (2009). Knowledge and beliefs about gambling in Australian secondary school students and their implications for education strategies. Journal of Gambling Studies, 25, 523–539.
Delfabbro, P., & Thrupp, L. (2003). The social determinants of youth gambling in South Australian adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 26, 313–330.
Dodou, D., & de Winter, J. C. F. (2014). Social desirability is the same in offline, online, and paper surveys: A meta-analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 487–495.
Donnellan, M. B., Oswald, F. L., Baird, B. M., & Lucas, R. E. (2006). The Mini-IPIP scales: Tiny-yet-effective measures of the big five factors of personality. Psychological Assessment, 18, 192–203.
Elliot, A. J., & Thrash, T. M. (2002). Approach-avoidance motivation in personality: Approach and avoidance temperaments and goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 804–818.
Eysenck, S. B. G., & Eysenck, H. J. (1977). The place of impulsiveness in a dimensional system of personality descriptions. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 16, 57–68.
Festinger, L., & Carlsmith, J. M. (1959). Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58, 203–210.
Francis, L. J. (1996). The relationship between Eysenck’s personality factors and attitude towards substance use among 13–15-year-olds. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 633–640.
Griffiths, M. D. (2010). The role of parents in the development of gambling behaviour in adolescents. Education and Health, 28, 51–54.
Gupta, R., Nower, L., Derevensky, J. L., Blaszczynski, A., Faregh, N., & Temcheff, C. (2013). Problem gambling in adolescents: An examination of the pathways model. Journal of Gambling Studies, 29, 575–588.
Hanss, D., Mentzoni, R. A., Delfabbro, P., Myrseth, H., & Pallesen, S. (2014). Attitudes toward gambling among adolescents. International Gambling Studies, 14, 505–519.
Jackson, A. C., Dowling, N., Thomas, S. A., Bond, L., & Patton, G. (2008). Adolescent gambling behavior and attitudes: A prevalence study and correlates in an Australian population. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 6, 325–352.
Kassinove, J. I. (1998). Development of the gambling attitude scales: Preliminary findings. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54, 763–771.
Khatapoush, S., & Hallfors, D. (2004). “Sending the wrong message”: Did medical marijuana legalization in California change attitudes about and use of marijuana? Journal of Drug Issues, 34, 751–770.
Krosnick, J. A., & Alwin, D. F. (1989). Aging and susceptibility to attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 416–425.
Lee, G. P., Stuart, E. A., Ialongo, N. S., & Martins, S. S. (2014). Parental monitoring trajectories and gambling among a longitudinal cohort of urban youth. Addiction, 109, 977–985.
Lee, H.-S. (2013). Predicting and understanding undergraduate students’ intentions to gamble in a casino using an extended model of the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Gambling Studies, 29, 269–288.
Li, X. M., Feigelman, S., & Stanton, B. (2000). Perceived parental monitoring and health risk behaviors among urban low-income African-American children and adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27, 43–48.
Lockwood, P., Jordan, C. H., & Kunda, Z. (2002). Motivation by positive or negative role models: Regulatory focus determines who will best inspire us. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 854–864.
Magoon, M. E., & Ingersoll, G. M. (2006). Parental modeling, attachment, and supervision as moderators of adolescent gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 22, 1–22.
McDaniel, S. R., & Zuckerman, M. (2003). The relationship of impulsive sensation seeking and gender to interest and participation in gambling activities. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 1385–1400.
Moore, S. M., & Ohtsuka, K. (1997). Gambling activities of young Australians: Developing a model of behaviour. Journal of Gambling Studies, 13, 207–236.
Nowak, D. E., & Aloe, A. M. (2014). The prevalence of pathological gambling among college students: A meta-analytic synthesis, 2005–2013. Journal of Gambling Studies, 30, 819–843.
Orford, J., Griffiths, M., Wardle, H., Sproston, K., & Erens, B. (2009). Negative public attitudes toward gambling: Findings from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey using a new attitude scale. International Gambling Studies, 9, 39–54.
Sutton, R., & Griffiths, M. D. (2008). The Casino Attitudes Scale: The development of a new brief psychometric instrument. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 6, 244–248.
Taormina, R. J. (2009). Social and personality correlates of gambling attitudes and behavior among Chinese residents of Macau. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26, 1047–1071.
Volberg, R., Gupta, R., Griffiths, M. D., Olason, D., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2010). An international perspective on youth gambling prevalence studies. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 22, 3–38.
Vong, F. (2009). Changes in residents’ gambling attitudes and perceived impacts at the fifth anniversary of Macao’s gaming deregulation. Journal of Travel Research, 47, 388–397.
Williams, R. J., Connolly, D., Wood, R. T., & Nowatzki, N. (2006). Gambling and problem gambling in a sample of university students. Journal of Gambling Issues, 16, 1–14.
Wood, R. T. A., & Griffiths, M. D. (1998). The acquisition, development and maintenance of lottery and scratchcard gambling in adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 21, 265–273.
Wood, R. T. A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2004). Adolescent lottery and scratchcard players: Do their attitudes influence their gambling behaviour? Journal of Adolescence, 27, 467–475.