Gaining control: Trends in the processes of change for video lottery terminal gamblers


AIM: Examine the processes of change used by problem gamblers in the action and maintenance stages of the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM). METHOD: A sample of 25 problem gamblers in the action stage and 38 in the maintenance stage were compared in terms of usage of three of these processes (counterconditioning, stimulus control and reinforcement management). Two mediating variables, self-efficacy and situational temptation, were also assessed. FINDINGS: As hypothesised, the usage of counterconditioning and stimulus control declined significantly between the action and maintenance stages. No change was found in reinforcement management between the stages. Self-efficacy increased and situational temptation declined between the action and maintenance stages. CONCLUSION: Problem gamblers made significant use of these processes, suggesting the TTM model is applicable to problem gambling. A number regulatory and venue operator actions might help the problem gambler utilise these processes in the natural recovery process.

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