Comparative effects of differing media presented advertisements on male youth gambling attitudes and intentions

Abstract

Gambling advertisements posted on social media websites such as Facebook are subject to few regulations. This study examined the differential effects of traditional print media (newspapers), and gambling operator and peer postings on Facebook on gambling attitudes and intentions to gamble in a sample of 120 male first-year university students. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three conditions; gambling operator posting on Facebook, peer posting on Facebook, and print media. Baseline and post-advertisement exposure gambling attitudes and intentions were assessed online. Gambling attitude and intentions did not differ between averaged peer and gambling operator Facebook postings compared to traditional media. However, gambling advertisements appeared to influence gambling attitudes and medium-term gambling intentions when posted by a gambling operator compared to a peer on Facebook. Gambling advertisements in traditional media and social media are equivalent in their effects on gambling attitudes and intentions. This novel finding suggests that regulations applied to gambling advertisements presented in traditional media ought to be extended to those appearing on social media platforms.

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