Theory of planned behavior in school-based adolescent problem gambling prevention: A conceptual framework

Abstract

Given its serious implications for psychological and socio-emotional health, the prevention of problem gambling among adolescents is increasingly acknowledged as an area requiring attention. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) is a well-established model of behavior change that has been studied in the development and evaluation of primary preventive interventions aimed at modifying cognitions and behavior. However, the utility of the TPB has yet to be explored as a framework for the development of adolescent problem gambling prevention initiatives. This paper first examines the existing empirical literature addressing the effectiveness of school-based primary prevention programs for adolescent gambling. Given the limitations of existing programs, we then present a conceptual framework for the integration of the TPB in the development of effective problem gambling preventive interventions. The paper describes the TPB, demonstrates how the framework has been applied to gambling behavior, and reviews the strengths and limitations of the model for the design of primary prevention initiatives targeting adolescent risk and addictive behaviors, including adolescent gambling.

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