Evaluation of a school-based prevention program for adolescents using the theory of planned behaviour

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*St-Pierre RA, Derevensky JL, Temcheff CE, Gupta R, Martin-Storey A. (2017). Evaluation of a schoolbased gambling prevention program for adolescents using the theory of planned behaviour. Gambling Issues. 36: 113-137.


The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and the concept of negative anticipated emotions (NAEs) have attracted research attention in the formulation of effective preventive interventions. This approach has identified several key constructs of the TPB (i.e., intentions, attitudes, subjective norms, perceptions of behavioural control) and NAEs as valid predictors of gambling behaviours and problems. However, no empirical investigation has used these constructs in the design or evaluation of a preventive intervention for adolescent problem gambling. The current research aimed to assess the efficacy of targeting NAEs and key TPB constructs in a prevention video for modifying gambling beliefs, intentions, and behaviours. A sample of 280 high school students were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control condition. Participants were assessed at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up. Results reveal that the video was not effective in producing desired changes in NAEs, the key constructs of the TPB, or the frequency of gambling behaviour. The findings suggest that the video, delivered as a universal preventive intervention, may be insufficient for modifying NAEs and other TPB key constructs, or for changing gambling behaviours.