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The use and experience of responsible gambling tools: An explorative analysis of user behavior regarding a responsible gambling tool and the consequences of use
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2004-2366
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Responsible gambling tools are an intervention that is designed to decrease gambling among individuals with an at-risk gambling behavior. Studies have indicated that responsible gambling tools can decrease gambling behavior, but little is known about how this intervention is used by gamblers. The aim of the present thesis was to explore different facets of the use, experience and functions of these tools. Study I used descriptive statistics and latent class analysis (LCA) combined with multinomial regression to explore the use of the responsible gambling tool Playscan among 9528 gamblers (regular and at-risk gamblers). The participants had volunteered to use the tool. The functions of the tool had a high rate of initial use but a low rate of repeated use. The LCA identified five user classes. Two of the classes (self-testers and multifunctional users) were defined as high users of the tool and had a higher risk of developing gambling problems according to multinomial regression. The multifunctional users were characterized by an extensive use of all the functions while the other high usage class had an extensive use of the self-test. The three other classes were as follows: those who did not use the tool, those who visited the tool but did not engage in any of the functions, and those who only used the tool’s advice on how to decrease their gambling. Participants’ reasons for use and non-use of the tool were attributed to their degree of need of the tool and its functions. The tool’s most widely used function was the self-test that investigated the level of negative consequences faced by a user due to his or her gambling. Study II was a qualitative study investigating participants’ views, experiences and their reasons for using the tool. The study was conducted by interviewing 20 volunteer users of the tool. These semi-structured interviews were analyzed by thematic analysis. The results showed that the users had a positive attitude towards the tool and understood its purpose. The self-test was the most widely used function in this sample as well. However, the participants’ positive attitude toward the tool did not effectively encourage them to use it; they displayed low use of the tool’s functions. This paradox was explained by lack of feedback and the fact that some participants did not understand that they had registered to use the tool. Providing more feedback and tailoring the feedback to individual users were seen as ways of bridging the paradox. Study II also found that participants used the gambling website (which Playscan was linked to) in an analogue way, preparing their bets before placing them online. This limited the time they spent on the site and inhibited their use of Playscan. Study III was motivated by the extensive use of the self-test among users in Study I and Study II. The aim of Study III was to investigate the psychometric properties of the self-test (known as GamTest) to better understand how it could be used with Playscan in the most efficient way. Two thousand two hundred and thirty four respondents answered the questionnaire, along with instruments measuring depression, anxiety and another instrument measuring problems due to gambling. Factor analysis, parallel analysis, Cronbach’s alpha, and correlations were used to establish the tool’s psychometric properties. The results yielded a three-factor model, excellent reliability, and high correlation with the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), endorsing the validity of the self-test. The results also indicated that the questionnaire could be effectively shortened. Overall, the studies show that the tool has an initial high use, low repeated use and that the self-test is the most used feature. In addition, the self-test had good psychometric properties. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2017.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147476ISBN: 978-91-7797-010-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-011-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147476DiVA: diva2:1145828
Public defence
2017-11-30, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2017-11-07 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Usage of a Responsible Gambling Tool: A Descriptive Analysis and Latent Class Analysis of User Behavior
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Usage of a Responsible Gambling Tool: A Descriptive Analysis and Latent Class Analysis of User Behavior
2016 (English)In: Journal of Gambling Studies, ISSN 1050-5350, E-ISSN 1573-3602, Vol. 32, no 3, 889-904 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Gambling is a common pastime around the world. Most gamblers can engage in gambling activities without negative consequences, but some run the risk of developing an excessive gambling pattern. Excessive gambling has severe negative economic and psychological consequences, which makes the development of responsible gambling strategies vital to protecting individuals from these risks. One such strategy is responsible gambling (RG) tools. These tools track an individual’s gambling history and supplies personalized feedback and might be one way to decrease excessive gambling behavior. However, research is lacking in this area and little is known about the usage of these tools. The aim of this article is to describe user behavior and to investigate if there are different subclasses of users by conducting a latent class analysis. The user behaviour of 9528 online gamblers who voluntarily used a RG tool was analysed. Number of visits to the site, self-tests made, and advice used were the observed variables included in the latent class analysis. Descriptive statistics show that overall the functions of the tool had a high initial usage and a low repeated usage. Latent class analysis yielded five distinct classes of users: self-testers, multi-function users, advice users, site visitors, and non-users. Multinomial regression revealed that classes were associated with different risk levels of excessive gambling. The self-testers and multi-function users used the tool to a higher extent and were found to have a greater risk of excessive gambling than the other classes.

Keyword
responsible gambling tool, decrease gambling, user behavior, latent class analysis, initial high usage, low repeated usage
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134608 (URN)10.1007/s10899-015-9590-6 (DOI)000382140800006 ()
Available from: 2016-10-12 Created: 2016-10-12 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved
2. Experiences of Playscan: Interviews with users of a responsible gambling tool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experiences of Playscan: Interviews with users of a responsible gambling tool
2017 (English)In: Internet Interventions, ISSN 2214-7829, Vol. 8, 53-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Online gambling, encompassing a wide variety of activities and around-the-clock access, can be a potential risk factor for gamblers who tend to gamble excessively. Yet, the advent of online gambling has enabled responsible gambling (RG) features that may help individuals to limit their gambling behaviour. One of these features is RG tools that track gamblers' behaviour, performs risk assessments and provides advice to gamblers. This study investigated users' views and experiences of the RG tool Playscan from a qualitative perspective using a semi-structured interview. The tool performs a risk assessment on a three-step scale (low, medium and high risk). Users from every risk category were included. Twenty interviews were carried out and analysed using thematic analysis. Two main themes with associated sub-themes were identified: “Usage of Playscan and the gambling site” and “Experiences of Playscan”. Important experiences in the sub-themes were lack of feedback from the tool and confusion when signing up to use Playscan. These experiences counteracted positive attitudes that should have promoted usage of the tool. Providing more feedback directly to users is a suggested solution to increase usage of the RG tool.

Keyword
responsible gambling tool, qualitative study, thematic analysis, usage, feedback
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142975 (URN)10.1016/j.invent.2017.03.003 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved
3. GamTest: Psychometric evaluation in the general population
Open this publication in new window or tab >>GamTest: Psychometric evaluation in the general population
Show others...
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147424 (URN)
Available from: 2017-09-29 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved

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