Gambling Prevention Program Among Children
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Gambling becomes a more frequent activity among children as they have an easy access to the world of the games. In the same time children are at a higher risk for developing problem and/or pathological gambling having erroneous information about how games of chance and games of skill work. The purpose of the study was to compare the influence of specific primary prevention with rational emotive education (REE) on the subjects’ knowledge about games. The experimental design randomly assigned children (N = 81, age 12–13, 37 male and 44 female) into three groups: 1. control, 2. specific information about games using the interactive software “Amazing Chateau”, and 3. REE. All children completed a questionnaire with 38 items at the beginning of the study and after 10 weekly interventional meetings. Each item had three answering options, children choosing only one correct answer. Findings indicated that the use of the software significantly improved subjects’ knowledge about gambling and corrected their information about how games work. The results of the study confirmed that using specific primary prevention tools for changing erroneous conceptions about games is more efficient than using only REE. The implications of these results for the prevention of gambling problems especially in schools are discussed.
KeywordsPrevention Gambling Children Software Rational emotive education
We would like to thank Prof. Jeffrey Derevensky from the Faculty of Education, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Quebec, Canada for his support and agreement for using the “Amazing Chateau” and “Hooked City” software designed by the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors. We would like to thank Stefania Popa, Gheorghe Berar and Ioan Bilc for their help in different phases of this study.
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