Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 499–516 | Cite as

The Efficacy of a Modified Theory of Reasoned Action to Explain Gambling Behavior in College Students

  • Robert G. Thrasher
  • Damon P. S. Andrew
  • Daniel F. Mahony
Original Paper


Recently, Thrasher et al. (College Student Affairs Journal 27(1): 57–75, 2007) explored the efficacy of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA; Ajzen and Fishbein, Attitudes, personality, and behavior, 1980) in explaining gambling behavior of college students. However, their study found the TRA only predicted small amounts of variance in gambling intentions. Heeding their call to enhance the efficacy of the TRA through the addition of explanatory variables to the model, the present study incorporated gambling motivations and locus of control as moderating variables within the TRA to test the potential of a modified TRA in explaining gambling behavior of college students. A total of 345 students at a major metropolitan research university in the Midwest volunteered to participate in the study. A series of hierarchical linear regressions indicated intrinsic motivation to accomplish (p = .002) significantly moderated the relationship between gambling attitudes and gambling intentions. Further, internal locus of control (p < .001), chance locus of control (p < .001), and powerful others locus of control (p < .001) also significantly moderated the relationship between gambling attitudes and gambling intentions. The significant impact of the moderating variables on the relationship between gambling attitudes and intentions suggests intrinsic motivation and locus of control can alter the impact of the relationship between gambling attitudes and gambling intentions.


Theory of reasoned action Gambling motivation Locus of control Gambling intentions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Thrasher
    • 1
  • Damon P. S. Andrew
    • 1
  • Daniel F. Mahony
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Health and Human ServicesTroy UniversityTroyUSA
  2. 2.College of Education, Health, and Human ServicesKent State UniversityKentUSA

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