Gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling survey: Experimental statistics stage
Testing different ways of asking about gambling harms
Step 1 of the experimental statistics data collection included an experiment to test the performance of two different ways of asking the type 2 harms questions. This aimed to compare responses to the harms questions when: a) measured on a four-point scale ranging from never, occasionally, fairly often, very often, and, b) when measured using binary yes or no answer options.
The harms asked about were:
- reducing or cutting back on spending on everyday items such as food, bills and clothing
- using of savings or increasing use of credit to gamble
- experiencing conflict or arguments with friends, family and/or work colleagues
- feeling isolated from other people, left out or completely alone
- lying to family, or others, to hide the extent of gambling
- being absent or performing poorly at work or study.
Addresses (and responding individuals within those addresses) were randomly allocated to one of two experimental conditions:
- condition A - participants at 14,648 addresses were asked to answer the six harm questions using the four-point scaled answer options
- condition B - participants at 7,305 addresses were asked to answer the six harms questions using the binary yes or no answer options.
The issued sample size was different for the two conditions as the household selection and gambling harms experiment ran simultaneously and the aim was to achieve a total sample size of 6,000 completed questionnaires15.
Questions relating to harms experienced because of one’s own gambling were asked of those who had gambled in the last 12 months (2,183 individuals from condition A and 1,090 from condition B). Questions relating to harms experienced because of someone else’s gambling were asked of anyone who reported that someone close to them (friend, family, partner etc.) gambled (2,006 individuals from condition A and 985 from condition B).
Figure 6: Response to the gambling harms questions for each experimental condition
|Type of harm||Experimental condition A (four-point answer option)
|Experimental condition B (binary answer options)
|Harms to self||2,183||1,090|
|Harms from others||2,006||985|
The experiment aimed to assess the following questions:
- Did the refined four-point answer scale give improved quality data compared with the previous three-point answer scale?
- How did rates of response patterns compare between those who answered the four-point answer scale and those who answered the binary answer options?
- What associations were there between reporting of these harms and known correlates of gambling harms?
In addition, the number of participants reporting that someone close to them gambled and the gambling-related suicidality questions were examined.
15 For detail on the step 2 sample, see previous 'Figure 1: Step 1 issued and target achieved sample sizes for experimental conditions and type of gambling-related harms question asked'.
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Last updated: 18 April 2023
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