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Survey Methodology

The survey for this report was developed in two-stages. First, a review of current literature was conducted to determine what surveys were currently being used, and what risk factors should be examined. Second, a survey was created which incorporated information about gambling (based on the SOGS-RA instrument) as well as information about other risky behaviors including drug and alcohol use, smoking, and criminal behavior as well as attitudinal information. A copy of the survey instrument is provided in Appendix 2. In order to be sure that reliable and valid estimates of problem gambling are provided by this report, there were no modifications made to the scored items of the SOGS-RA either in appearance or order. Both past-year and lifetime estimates are included in the analyses, however, the estimates of problem gambling were based on past-year gambling behavior only.

Second, the survey was reviewed by an outside reviewer and pilot-tested on approximately 40 older adolescents in an introductory course (composed almost entirely of freshman) at a medium sized university in Washington State. Results of both the outside review and pilot test indicated that the survey was of appropriate length and readability.

The telephone interviews were conducted by Gilmore Research Group of Seattle, WA. Consent was obtained both from the parents and the adolescents prior to the interview. The average length of the interview was approximately twelve minutes.

Most recently, there have been efforts to establish an instrument based on the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) for adolescents (Fisher, S.E, 1998; Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J.L., 1998). In an effort to contribute to the knowledge base, this study was also designed to compare the SOGS-RA with the DSM-IV-JR (See Fisher, S.E., 1998). (The findings from this analysis will be published in a forthcoming paper by the authors.)

In order to prevent any potential question order bias, the SOGS-RA and the DSM-IV-JR questions were alternated. (See Appendix 2, questions 21, 22, and 23 were alternated with question 44.) Additionally, the lottery participation questions (7, 8, and 9) were alternated with the casino questions (11 and 12) as well as the lottery advertising recall questions (32 - 37) with the casino advertising recall questions (38 - 42).

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