The effects of gambling advertisements on child and adolescent gambling behaviors

The present research examines the impact of gambling advertisements on adolescent gambling attitudes and behaviours.

The study is divided into two phases: a qualitative phase (phase 1) and a quantitative phase (phase 2). The qualitative component of this study was designed to determine the salient characteristics and influence of gambling advertisements as perceived by adolescents. The data was then used to develop a questionnaire aimed at collecting information about participants' perceptions of the structural and situational characteristics of the advertisements. All study participants were students from English secondary schools in Ontario and Québec.

Participants were asked questions on five distinct topics related to the ads.

During phase 1, 143 adolescents between 12 and 19 years participated in focus groups. The data collected was used to develop the questionnaire for the second phase of the study.

In addition to discussing their perceived exposure to gambling advertisements, participants were asked questions on five distinct topics: 1) their likes and dislikes about the ads; 2) notable features of the ads; 3) perceived messages of the ads; 4) what segment of the population they believed were targeted by the ads; and 5) if they believed themselves or their peers to be influenced by the advertisements. Responses were analyzed by age and gender.

During phase 2, 1,147 adolescents between 12 and 19 years completed a questionnaire examining their gambling behaviours, their exposure to gambling advertisements and their perceptions of the ads.

Main researcher

Jeffrey L. Derevensky, McGill University

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: September 2007