Questionnaire development for a longitudinal study of gamblers - phase 1


This research was jointly commissioned by the Gambling Commission, the National Lottery Commission and the Responsibility in Gambling Trust and undertaken by NatCen.  The purpose of the work was to identify a set of questions that could be used in any future longitudinal study of gambling behaviour.

The research focused on a set of research questions relating to reasons why people gamble and how to capture information about reasons why people change their gambling behaviour. The project was undertaken in two phases, this is the report of the first phase of the project, and is largely methodological in nature, as the primary concern of this piece of work was to consider how to assess people's motivations for gambling and reasons for changing behaviour in a quantitative way.

The full report can be found at:

Questionnaire development for a longitudinal study of gamblers - phase 1

The second stage of the project pre-tested a set of questionnaire instruments relating to the research questions identified by this report, using a small sample of gamblers (43) who had taken part in both the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007  (BGPS 2007) and the Qualitative Follow-up of BGPS 2007.

Key findings of phase 1

Any longitudinal study of gamblers will invariably have a number of research questions it wishes to address.  The authors of the report considered that two key research questions which would be highly likely to form part of the basis of any longitudinal research on gamblers were:

  • assessing people's motivations for gambling
  • examining the reasons or triggers which make gamblers, and even non-gamblers, change their gambling behaviour.

The key aim of this piece of work was to assess what questionnaire items and methods could be used to accurately capture this information by:

  • a) undertaking a desk based review of international literature and data collection methods in these areas
  • b) performing secondary analysis of existing qualitative data to assess whether the themes and methods identified from the desk based review are representative of gamblers within the UK and to highlight potential gaps in knowledge emerging from the review stage.

Following this two stage process, the authors recommended that the following questions and instruments be included within the second (question testing) phase of the project:

  • Age of first gambling experience.
  • Facilitator of first gambling experience.
  • Outcome of first gambling experience.
  • Reasons for starting to gamble.
  • Gambling Motivations Questionnaire (subject to the amendments outlined in Table 4 of the report).
  • Changes in gambling behaviour since last interview.
  • Reasons for changes in gambling behaviour.


Page last reviewed: October 2013

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