An exploration of adolescents' perceptions of gambling

Upham, Carey Leigh (2012-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych)-- Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Adolescent gambling is regarded as one of the relatively new areas of interest within the wider field of adolescent risk behaviour, with international research highlighting the rise in popularity of various gambling games and the associated behavioural, emotional, academic, interpersonal and psychological outcomes that have been linked to adolescent gambling. These trends raise concern with regard to the youth in South Africa, as the overall risk profile of risk behaviours among South African adolescents is comparable to the risk profiles of youths around the globe. Research in the field of adolescent gambling is still in its infancy in South Africa and additional literature is necessary to curb possible problems in this area. The methodology of this study can be described as basic exploratory qualitative research. The study was conducted within the interpretive paradigm and was also informed by ecosystemic theory. Purposive sampling was used to select twenty-six adolescent learners who were enrolled at a single, private, all boys' school in the Western Cape. The methods of data collection included semi-structured focus group and individual interviews. The method of analysis employed to analyse the research data was qualitative content analysis. The research findings from the study indicated that the participants had a clear understanding of the concept of gambling, the associated activities and possible risks linked to gambling, as well as the various motives for participating in gambling activities. Congruent with international findings, the popularity of poker was acknowledged, with a number of adolescents discussing their awareness of their peers' participation in this gambling activity. Whilst financial reward was recognised as a possible outcome of gambling, the majority of the participants regarded social reward and entertainment as some of the key motivating factors for participation in gambling during adolescence. While acknowledging the role of skill in games such as poker, the majority of the participants were still of the opinion that the outcome was largely unpredictable. In addition, the following factors were identified as playing a fundamental role in shaping their perceptions of gambling: media, family, peers, school, religion, personality and personal experiences. Keywords: Adolescence, Perception, Gambling, Pathological Gambling, Problem Gambling, Risk Behaviour, Ecosystemic Theory.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Adolessente dobbelary word gesien as een van die nuwer belangstellingsvelde binne die breër gebied van navorsing oor riskante gedrag onder adolessente, met internasionale navorsing wat toegespits word op die toename in die gewildheid van verskeie dobbelspeletjies en die daarmee gepaardgaande gedrags-, emosionele, akademiese, interpersoonlike en psigologiese uitkomste wat met adolessente dobbelary verbind word. Hierdie tendens wek kommer ten opsigte van die jeug in Suid-Afrika daar die algehele risikoprofiel van riskante gedrag onder Suid-Afrikaanse adolessente vergelykbaar is met die risikoprofiel van jeugdiges reg rondom die wêreld. Navorsing op die gebied van adolessente dobbelary in Suid-Afrika is nog in 'n beginstadium en daar is 'n behoefte aan bykomende literatuur om moontlike probleme binne hierdie gebied te beperk. Die metodologie wat vir hierdie studie gevolg is, kan as basiese verkennende kwalitatiewe navorsing beskryf word. Die studie is teen die agtergrond van die interpretiwistiese paradigma onderneem en is ook toegelig deur die ekosistemiese teorie. Doelbewuste steekproefneming is uitgevoer om ses-en-twintig adolessente leerders uit 'n enkele private seunskool in die Wes-Kaap te selekteer. Data is deur middel van semi-gestruktureerde fokusgroep- en indiwiduele onderhoude ingesamel. Die ontleding van die navorsingsdata is met behulp van kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise uitgevoer. Die bevindings uit die studie het getoon dat die deelnemers 'n duidelike begrip van die dobbelarykonsep, die gepaardgaande aktiwiteite en die moontlike risiko verbonde aan dobbelary gehad het, asook van die onderskeie motiewe vir deelname aan dobbelaktiwiteite. Die gewildheid van die pokerspel is ooreenstemmend met internasionale bevindings bevestig deur middel van 'n gesprek met 'n aantal adolessente oor hul bewustheid van hul portuurgroep se deelname aan hierdie dobbelaktiwiteit. Terwyl die moontlike uitkoms van finansiële wins by dobbelary erken is, het die meerderheid deelnemers die sosiale bate en vermaak as onder die vernaamste motiveringsfaktore vir deelname aan dobbelary gedurende adolessensie beskou. Die rol van vaardigheid in 'n spel soos poker is erken, maar die meerderheid deelnemers het die opinie gehandhaaf dat die resultaat grootliks onvoorspelbaar is. Daarbenewens is die media, gesin, portuurgroep, skool, geloof, persoonlikheid en persoonlike ervarings as grondliggende faktore tot die vorming van persepsies oor dobbelary beskou.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20354
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