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Evaluation of a School-Based Gambling Prevention Program for Adolescents: Efficacy of Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Renée A. St-Pierre, Jeffrey L. Derevensky, Caroline E. Temcheff, Rina Gupta, Alexa Martin-Story


The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and the concept of negative anticipated emotions (NAEs) have attracted research attention in the formulation of effective preventive interventions. This approach has identified several key constructs of the TPB (i.e., intentions, attitudes, subjective norms, perceptions of behavioural control) and NAEs as valid predictors of gambling behaviours and problems. However, no empirical investigation has used these constructs in the design or evaluation of a preventive intervention for adolescent problem gambling. The current research aimed to assess the efficacy of targeting NAEs and key TPB constructs in a prevention video for modifying gambling beliefs, intentions, and behaviours. A sample of 280 high school students were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control condition. Participants were assessed at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up. Results reveal that the video was not effective in producing desired changes in NAEs, the key constructs of the TPB, or the frequency of gambling behaviour. The findings suggest that the video, delivered as a universal preventive intervention, may be insufficient for modifying NAEs and other TPB key constructs, or for changing gambling behaviours.

Pour la formulation d’interventions préventives efficaces, l’attention de chercheurs s’est portée sur la théorie du comportement planifié et le concept d’émotions négatives anticipées. Cette approche a permis de relever plusieurs constructions clés de la théorie du comportement planifié (soit, les intentions, attitudes, normes subjectives, perceptions du contrôle comportemental) et des émotions négatives anticipées comme indicateurs valides de comportements et de problèmes liés au jeu. Cependant, aucune étude empirique n’a utilisé ces constructions dans la conception ou l’évaluation d’une intervention préventive pour le jeu des adolescents. La recherche actuelle visait donc à évaluer dans quelle mesure il était efficace de cibler les émotions négatives anticipées et les constructions clés du comportement planifié dans une vidéo de prévention afin de modifier les croyances, les intentions et les comportements du jeu. Un échantillon de 280 élèves du secondaire a été affecté au hasard à une condition d’intervention ou de contrôle. Les participants ont été évalués avant et après l’intervention et au suivi, trois mois plus tard. Les résultats révèlent que la vidéo n’a pas été efficace pour produire les changements souhaités dans le cas des émotions négatives anticipées, les constructions clés du comportement planifié ou la fréquence du comportement du jeu. Les résultats permettent de conclure que la vidéo présentée comme intervention préventive universelle ne suffit pas à modifier les émotions négatives anticipées ni d’autres constructions clés du comportement planifié ou des comportements de jeu.

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