Behavior change techniques and delivery modes in interventions targeting adolescent gambling: a systematic review

Tom St Quinton, Ben Morris, Dylan Pickering, Debbie Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    36 Downloads (Pure)


    Adolescent gambling can lead to significant harms, yet participation rates continue to rise. Interventions targeting gambling reduction have been implemented in this population. However, it is not clear which behavior change techniques (BCTs) and modes of delivery (MOD) are most effective at reducing gambling.

    The objective of the study was to identify ‘promising’ BCTs and MODs by systematically reviewing interventions targeting adolescent gambling behavior. ‘Promising’ was defined as those present in at least 25% of all interventions and in at least two effective interventions.

    Three databases were searched (PsycINFO, Medline, and Scopus) from database inception to May 2021. Interventions were eligible if they were randomized controlled trials; targeting adolescents (aged 10–25 years); and assessing gambling behavior post-intervention. BCTs were identified using the Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy v1.

    From the initial 3,315 studies, the removal of duplicates and ineligible articles resulted in sixteen studies included in the review. Eleven of these reported successfully reducing gambling behavior. Eighteen BCTs and six MODs were used across the interventions. The BCTs identified as promising were ‘4.2. Information about antecedents’, ‘4.4. Behavioral experiments’, ‘5.3. Information about social and environmental consequences’, and ‘5.6. Information about emotional consequences’. Promising MODs were ‘face-to-face’, ‘computer’, and ‘playable electronic storage’.

    The study reviewed the content of interventions targeting adolescent gambling behavior. Four BCTs were identified as promising and should therefore be adopted in future interventions. To facilitate the delivery of these techniques, the study also identified three promising MODs. Interventions developed using these BCTs and MODs may successfully reduce adolescent gambling behavior.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2022


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