Adolescent accounts of the UK National Lottery and scratchcards: An analysis using Q-sorts


The study examined adolescents' accounts of the UK National Lottery and scratchcards. Q-sorts were used to examine the views of 62 participants aged between 11 and 15 years of age. Findings identified four distinct accounts in relation to the National Lottery (Moral Opposition, Luck Seeking, Rationalist, & Uncertainty), and four distinct accounts in relation to scratchcards (Scepticism, Thrill-Seeking, Rationalist, & Libertarian). Some of the accounts identified described the UK National Lottery and scratchcards as bona fide forms of gambling. Reports indicated that adolescents were pessimistic about the chances of winning large sums of money, while other accounts demonstrated gambling misperceptions particularly in relation to their belief in luck and the laws of probability. It is argued that to fully understand why adolescents take part in these activities it is important to consider the diverse ways that adolescents represent these activities. These differing representations will have consequences for measures aimed at reducing, preventing, or treating adolescent problem gambling. The utility of Q-sorts as a technique for examining the views of problem and non-problem gamblers is also discussed.

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