Development of questions for a longitudinal study of gambling: Phase 2 report. Findings from cognitive question testing

Abstract

This research was jointly commissioned by the Gambling Commission, the National Lottery Commission and the Responsibility in Gambling Trust and undertaken by the National Centre for Social Research. This report focuses on work that was undertaken to pre-test a set of questionnaire instruments relating to gambling behaviour with a sample of respondents who had taken part in both the British Gambling Prevalence Survey {(BGPS)} 2007 and the Qualitative Follow-up of {BGPS} 2007. The project was undertaken in two phases, this is the report of the second phase of the project. The purpose of the work was to pre-test a set of questionnaire instruments relating to the research questions identified by the first phase of this project, which was to identify a set of research questions that could be used in any longitudinal study of gambling behaviour. Key findings of phase 2 Any longitudinal study of gamblers will invariably have a number of research questions it wishes to address. The authors of the Phase 1 report considered that two fundamental research questions which would be highly likely to form part of the basis of any longitudinal research on gamblers are: assessing people's motivations for gambling examining the reasons or triggers which make gamblers, and even non-gamblers, change their gambling behaviour. Phase 1 of the project undertook a desk based review of international literature and data collection in these areas and undertook secondary analysis of existing qualitative data to assess the relevance of themes identified in the review to the {UK} context. The primary aim of phase 2 of this project was to test, using cognitive methods, both new and re-designed questions that could potentially be used in a longitudinal study of gambling. The aims of the cognitive testing were to: see how respondents reacted to the questions see whether they were willing and able to answer the questions explore comprehension of key terms within the questions explore respondents' ability to recall information in order to answer the questions explore whether the questions were perceived as sensitive explore how the answer options worked. In addition, the sample that was used had taken previously taken part in the {BGPS} 2007 as well as a qualitative interview in late summer 2008 and therefore offered an ideal opportunity to "test out" the process of following up respondents who had taken part in an interview previously - as would happen in a longitudinal survey.

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