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Research based prevention strategies for youth: What works?

Research based prevention strategies for youth: What works?

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Research based prevention strategies for youth: What works?

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  1. Research based prevention strategies for youth: What works? Jeffrey L. Derevensky, Ph.D. International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors McGill University Singapore Problem Gambling Conference July, 2007 www.youthgambling.com

  2. Gambling/gaming has become normalized in our society

  3. What do we mean by gambling prevention? • Prevention programs are developed to reduce the likelihood of problematic gambling • Prevention can target different subsets of populations or special population groups

  4. Prevention can occur on three levels: • Primary prevention: targeting intervention to individuals who have not experienced a gambling problem. • Secondary prevention: targeting intervention to individuals exhibiting risky behaviors, inappropriate attitudes, and erroneous gambling cognitions. • Tertiary prevention: treatment of those individuals currently experiencing a serious gambling problem.

  5. Prevention Issues • Abstinence • Harm reduction/minimization

  6. Lessons learned from research on youth substance abuse……

  7. Substance Abuse Prevention • Focused around two concepts: • risk & protection – and their interaction (Centre for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1999) • Protective factors balance and buffer risk and ultimately lessen the likelihood of engaging in risk-taking behaviors or buffer exposure to problems(Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992) • Shift in focused prevention to focus on resiliency(Garmezy & Streitman, 1974; Garmezy & Masten, 1986; Lussier, Derrevensky & Gupta, in press; Luthar, 1992; Jessor, 1998; Rutter, 1979; Werner, 1986) • Education (Derevensky & Gupta, 1998a, 1999; 2006; Gupta & Derevensky, 1999, 2000)

  8. Gambling Prevention Prevention through risk-reduction • individual • family • peer and social contexts • community context • Risk-reduction by enhancing protective factors • attributes of the individual • family support • environmental support • Using schools as a basis for prevention through promotion of social/personal competence

  9. Goals of prevention • Improve knowledge • Increase awareness • Change inappropriate attitudes and/or encourage positive attitudes • Correct false cognitions, understandings, erroneous beliefs (odds, skill vs. luck, strategies, superstitions) • Behavior - prevent occurrence of excessive gambling - decrease/reduce excessive gambling patterns of behavior

  10. Learning objectives • References to gambling within the context of perceived skill vs. luck. Gambling is primarily driven by chance. Teach youth through ‘hands-on’ activities which contrast skill and luck. • Teach children that time and money is better spent on other activities or purchases. • Present the negative consequences of a gambling dependency and the positive consequences of making good decisions.

  11. Learning objectives • Increase problem-solving skills. • Increase feelings of self-confidence. • Improve coping skills. • Teach individuals to make good decisions for themselves in the face of peer pressure and social temptations. Note: Each level of prevention should be developmentally appropriate. Not all objectives are addressed at all levels.

  12. Examples of learning objectives (specific) • Introduce children to the notion of dependency and loss of control using concrete, familiar examples. These are then presented within a gambling context. • Review other activities that can lead to a dependency (smoking, alcohol, drugs) and add gambling as another form of potential addictive behavior. • Communicate that gambling problems can happen to anyone, including youth.

  13. Current Prevention Efforts

  14. Brochure targeting adolescents • Educate teenagers on the risks involved in gambling • Challenge certain myths about gambling • Includes a self-evaluation questionnaire and centre’s coordinates to get help • Distributed upon request and into schools visited

  15. Screening cards for teenagers • Self-evaluation • Try to ensure students retain our coordinates

  16. Poster contest • Raise awareness about youth gambling problems in the schools • Winning posters printed and distributed to all high-schools

  17. “The true colors of gambling”

  18. Mouse pads for school psychologists and counsellors • Raise awareness and ensure they have our coordinates • Distributed to schools visited

  19. Elementary and High School Curriculum Teacher manuals

  20. Identifying personal risk and attitudes toward gambling • Distinguishing responsible gambling behaviors • Illusion of control + personal risk characteristics = risk for the development of a gambling problem • Superstitious behaviors • Knowing oneself and establishing limits • Information on self-screening and how to get help

  21. Importance of having a positive self-image • Importance of friends as potential models • Many people influence us but we are still responsible for our own decisions • Peer pressure and how to resist by evaluating potential consequences • Concerns re: transition to high school are addressed

  22. It is important to start targeting children at a young age. • Our research indicates significant increases in gambling behaviors beginning at age 9 and 10. As a result, early interventions continuing through high school are most effective.

  23. Children have the right to learn about the possible dangers inherent in excessive gambling.

  24. CD Rom Teacher manuals

  25. CD-ROM • Two levels: elementary/junior high and secondary • Self-administered but supervised by teacher (teacher manual included) • Information and education • Raising awareness in children and adolescents about the risks involved in gambling

  26. Two types of activities • “Gambling”: The player loses more than he wins and he is reinforced when quitting the activity • “Skill”: The player receives accurate information on gambling and some attitudes and erroneous beliefs are challenged. ► Protective factors

  27. Amazing Chateau

  28. Hooked City

  29. Workshops - schools • Elementary and High-School level • Highly Interactive ► Targeted intervention • Themes: Gambling definition, at-risk people, chance and independance of events, addiction, warning signs, help resources, stress management, coping, problem-solving skills, etc. • Requested by schools

  30. Did you know……. Gambling in adolescence: The facts you need to know

  31. Any game of chance or skill that involves financial risk. • Lottery tickets • Cards for money (poker, blackjack) • Sports betting (sports pools) • VLT (video lottery terminals) • Bingo • Casino games

  32. 4% of adolescents have a gambling addiction. • In every class of 25, 1 student would have this addiction. • Most are boys, but girls can also have a serious problem.

  33. What type of person is more likely to develop this problem? • Gambling pulls kids in from all types of families, economic backgrounds, ethnic groups, and religious faiths. No one is immune

  34. Enjoyment Excitement To win money Escape problems Feel important Feel alive Be careful

  35. H T H T H H H • Which of the following represents the GREATEST ODDS for the three next coin flips: A) T T H B) H H H C) T H T D) T T T E) None of the above F) Any of the above

  36. : / 2, 10, 18, _, _, _ • Which of the following three numbers would provide us with greater chances of winning the 6/49 lottery? A) 19, 20, 21 B) 27, 39, 44 C) 23, 33, 43 D) 20, 30, 40 E) None of the above F) Any of the above

  37. Answers : Each flip of a coin is independent from the others, so each has equal odds of occurring Each number on the ticket is independent from the other. 1 2 3 4 5 6 has as much chance of winning as any other sequence. Picking your own numbers does not increase your chances of winning. : : /

  38. Can’t think of anything else but doing drugs Need more and more to maintain a high Will do drugs at any cost Can’t stop even if they want to Lying and stealing in order to keep doing drugs Drugs help them escape life’s problems..allows them to forget Consequences: failing grades, problems with friends and family, risk of ending up in a detention center or jail Can’t think of anything else but gambling Need to gamble more and more $ to maintain a high Will gamble at any cost Can’t stop even if they want to Lying and stealing in order to keep gambling Gambling help them escape life’s problems..allows them to forget Consequences: failing grades, problems with friends and family, risk of ending up in a detention center or jail Drug Gambling addiction addiction

  39. • You’re constantly thinking about gambling • You’re lying to friends and family about your gambling • You’re borrowing and stealing in order to gamble

  40. A gambling addiction can be devastating. With help, people who are hooked on gambling can learn to stop. • Without professional help, they will risk losing everything…maybe even their lives.

  41. While most children and adolescents start gambling for fun, some end up with a serious gambling problem. • BE CAREFUL. This is an addictive pastime and you can get hooked before you know it. If you feel you must gamble from time to time, do it with moderation. Set limits, and respect those limits.

  42. What type of person is more likely to develop this problem? • Gambling pulls kids in from all types of families, economic backgrounds, ethnic groups, and religious faiths. No one is immune

  43. Clean Break

  44. Part I: Part I: General questions about gambling and problem-gambling General questions about gambling and problem-gambling _______________________________________

  45. What are the characteristics of a gambling addiction? How would you describe it? What are the characteristics of a gambling addiction? How would you describe it? ______________________________________ • Loss of control – can’t stop or respect self-imposed limits. • Preoccupation. • Serious personal and social consequences. • Financial problems. • Illegal acts. • What else?