How to support prison workers’ perceived readiness to identify and respond to possible gambling problems: A pilot study from two Finnish prisons [open-access article]

Problem gambling is known to be prevalent among prisoners. However, it is not systematically screened and often remains undetected. This pilot study explores prison workers’ (N = 21) knowledge, views, and opinions about problem gambling in two Finnish prisons with a view to improving training and to developing better guidelines for identifying and responding to gambling problems. Four-fifths (81%) of prison workers considered problem gambling a serious issue in Finland. During the past year, more than nine in ten (94.1%) had encountered a prisoner with a gambling problem. Problem gambling was identified in connection with discussions about prisoners’ illegal activity (50%), financial situation (25%), or other problems (25%). Nearly half of the participants felt they did not have adequate training or information about problem gambling and related issues and expressed an interest in continuing education. This pilot study provides important direction for the development of tailored training programs for prison workers. The next step is to increase awareness of gambling programs in a wider national context and to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. Article available online

Reference: Castrén, S., Lind, K., Järvinen-Tassopoulos, J. et al. (2019). How to support prison workers’ perceived readiness to identify and respond to possible gambling problems: A pilot study from two Finnish prisons. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.


Attitudes towards gambling, gambling participation, and gambling-related harm: cross-sectional Finnish population studies in 2011 and 2015 – open access

Anne H. Salonen, Hannu Alho, Sari Castrén.


Information about public gambling attitudes and gambling participation is crucial for the effective prevention of gambling-related harm. This study investigates female and male attitudes towards gambling, gambling participation, and gambling-related harm in the Finnish population aged 15–74.


Cross-sectional random sample data were collected in 2011 (n = 4484) and 2015 (n = 4515). The data were weighted based on gender, age and region of residence. Attitudes were measured using the Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale (ATGS-8). Gambling-related harms were studied using the Problem Gambling Severity Index and the South Oaks Gambling Screen.


Attitudes towards gambling became more positive from 2011 to 2015. Female attitudes were generally negative, but nonetheless moved in a positive direction except in age groups under 25. Occasional gambling increased among women aged 18–24. Women aged 18–24 and 45–54 experienced more harms in 2015 than in 2011. Both land and online gambling increased among women aged 65–74. Male attitudes towards gambling were generally positive, and became more positive from 2011 to 2015 in all age groups except 15–17. Weekly gambling decreased among males aged 15–17. Gambling overall increased among males aged 18–24. Gambling several times a week decreased among men aged 35–44 and 45–54, and gambling 1–3 times a month increased in the latter age group. Online gambling increased only among men aged 55–64.


Attitudes towards gambling became more positive in all except the youngest age groups. Under-age male gambling continued to decrease. We need to make decision-makers better aware of the continuing growth of online gambling among older people and women’s increasing experiences of gambling-related harm. This is vital to ensure more effective prevention.

Gambling, Risk-Taking, and Antisocial Behavior: A Replication Study Supporting the Generality of Deviance

Research suggests that high frequency gambling is a component of the “generality of deviance”, which describes the observation that various forms of risky and antisocial behavior tend to co-occur among individuals. Furthermore, risky and antisocial behaviors have been associated with such personality traits as low self-control, and impulsivity, and sensation-seeking. We conducted a replication (and extension) of two previous studies examining whether high frequency gambling is part of the generality of deviance using a large and diverse community sample (n = 328). This study was conducted as a response to calls for more replication studies in the behavioral and psychological sciences (recent systematic efforts suggest that a significant proportion of psychology studies do not replicate). The results of the present study largely replicate those previously found, and in many cases, we observed stronger associations among measures of gambling, risk-taking, and antisocial behavior in this diverse sample. Together, this study provides evidence for the generality of deviance inclusive of gambling (and, some evidence for the replicability of research relating to gambling and individual differences).

The relationship between gambling attitudes, involvement, and problems in adolescence: Examining the moderating role of coping strategies and parenting styles

Several factors are associated with an increased risk of adolescent problem gambling, including positive gambling attitudes, higher levels of gambling involvement, ineffective coping strategies and unhelpful parenting practices. It is less clear, however, how these factors interact or influence each other in the development of problem gambling behavior during adolescence. The aim of the current study was to simultaneously explore these predictors, with a particular focus on the extent to which coping skills and parenting styles may moderate the expected association between gambling involvement and gambling problems…

Source: Dixon, R. W., Youssef, G. J., Hasking, P., Yücel, M., Jackson, A. C., & Dowling, N. A. (n.d.). The relationship between gambling attitudes, involvement, and problems in adolescence: Examining the moderating role of coping strategies and parenting styles. Addictive Behaviors.

Validation of the 8-item attitudes towards gambling scale (ATGS-8) in a British population survey


Public opinions concerning gambling are an important factor in shaping public policy. Little empirical attention has been given to assessing gambling attitudes within the general population. The aim of the present study is to validate the 8-item Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale (ATGS-8) in British individuals and to investigate associations of these attitudes with frequency of gambling and gambling problems.


Data were derived from 7746 individuals participating in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010, a comprehensive interview-based survey conducted in Great Britain between November 2009 and May 2010. Confirmatory factor analysis and separate regression analyses were applied…

Source: Canale, N., Vieno, A., Pastore, M., Ghisi, M., & Griffiths, M. D. (n.d.). Validation of the 8-item attitudes towards gambling scale (ATGS-8) in a British population survey. Addictive Behaviors.

Gambling attitudes associated with problem gambling : the cohort effect of baby boomers

Full text available.

The current study sought to examine the effects of gambling attitudes and beliefs on problem gambling behaviour across three cohorts, namely Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation. Individuals from Northern and Southern Ontario completed either an online or paper version of a questionnaire that included the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI) and South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) to measure problem gambling, the Gambling Attitudes Scales (GAS) to measure gambling attitudes, and the Gambling Attitudes and Beliefs Survey (GABS), Gamblers’ Beliefs Questionnaire (GBQ), and Gambling Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS) to measure gambling beliefs. A sample of 308 participants consisted of 101 individuals from Generation X, 139 from the Baby Boom cohort, and 68 from the Silent Generation. Analyses focused on differences between Baby Boomers and their surrounding cohorts, but especially on differences between the older two cohorts…

Tanner, J. (2015, August 25). Gambling attitudes associated with problem gambling : the cohort effect of baby boomers (Thesis). Retrieved from

National Gambling Study: New Zealander’s Attitudes Towards Gambling: Report no.3

Abbott, M., Bellringer, M., Garrett, N., & Mundy-McPherson, S. (2015). New Zealand 2012 National gambling study: Attitudes towards gambling (No. 3). Wellington: AUT. Retrieved from

Full text and research summary of this report and the previous two reports in the series are available here

A major purpose of the 2012 National Gambling Study was to assess changes since the previous national gambling and problem gambling surveys were conducted. […] The main aim of Report Number 3 was to provide information on New Zealanders’ attitudes towards gambling…