Social Representations of People with Gambling Problems: The Influence of Prevention Classes on Non-gamblers

  • Alexander TomeiEmail author
  • Marianne Richter
Original Paper


In the present study, we examine the impact of prevention classes on non-gambling males. Specifically, we measure whether attending a prevention class influences how non-gambling participants perceive people who gamble problematically. Participants (N = 545) were all lifetime non-gamblers, and were all conscripts attending a two-day military recruitment program. On the first day participants either attended or did not attend a gambling prevention class. On the second day, they all completed a questionnaire that contained questions on how they perceived people who gamble problematically. Results showed that their representations were organized in terms of mental status (i.e. mentally disordered or not) and person-centeredness (i.e. self-centered or not). Results also showed that participants who attended the gambling prevention class saw problem-gambling individuals as more mentally disordered and self-centered than those who did not attend the class. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of social support and their applicability to problem gambling prevention programs.


Gambling Non-gambling Attitudes Perceptions Representations Social support 



We are grateful to Alexandre Beau, commander of the Swiss Army Recruitment Centre in Lausanne, for giving us access to the conscripts and for lending us his full support. We would also like to thank Cheryl Dickson for her English revision of the manuscript, and Yasser Khazaal for his critical feedback on the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Excessive Gambling, Addiction Medicine, Department of PsychiatryLausanne University HospitalLausanneSwitzerland

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