Beliefs and Attitudes of Mental Health Professionals with Respect to Gambling and Other High Risk Behaviors in Schools
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Studies have shown that mental health service provider perceptions of problems and knowledge of resources are among the largest determinants of service provision and referral. The current study aims at exploring mental health professionals’ awareness of, attitudes towards and beliefs regarding high-risk behaviors in youth, including gambling. Child psychologists, social workers, and psychoeducators (n = 649) responded to an online survey. Findings revealed that problem gambling was viewed by most professionals as the least serious adolescent risk behavior, and few reported feeling confident in their abilities to deal with youth with gambling problems. However, the majority of professionals felt that they have a significant role to play in the prevention of youth gambling problems, and many endorsed strong interest in receiving continuing education in the prevention, identification, and treatment of problem gambling. Results highlight the importance of continued efforts in increasing awareness regarding youth problematic gambling, as well as the need for greater continuing education training on adolescent gambling for mental health professionals.
KeywordsMental health professionals Psychologists Attitudes Youth Gambling Continuing education
The authors would like to thank Cloé Longpré-Langlois for her assistance with early phases data cleaning and analysis. We are most grateful to all of the regulatory bodies for their assistance in dissemination of the study and most especially to the participants. We thank them for taking the time to honestly complete the survey and share their perceptions relating to adolescent risky behaviors with us.
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