FSD3399 YouGamble 2017: Finnish Data

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  • Oksanen, Atte (Tampere University. Faculty of Social Sciences)
  • Sirola, Anu (Tampere University. Faculty of Social Sciences)
  • Kaakinen, Markus (Tampere University. Faculty of Social Sciences)


addiction, gambling, internet, internet use, social behaviour, social media, substance use, well-being (health), youth


This survey charted the gambling, social media usage and subjective well-being of young people aged 15-25 years in Finland. The study was conducted as part of the "Problem Gambling and Social Media: Social Psychological Study on Youth Behavior in Online Gaming Communities" research project. The aim of the project was to analyse how young social media users evaluate, adopt and share gambling-related online content and how online group processes affect their gambling and gambling-related attitudes. The project was funded by the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies (2017-2019).

First, the respondents were asked which social media services they used (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, discussion forums, online casinos) and how often. Topics that the respondents discussed on gambling-related social media were charted more closely, and they were asked, for example, whether the discussion usually related to instructions or tips on gambling or to problem gambling and recovering from problem gambling. Some questions on the respondents' social media activity were also presented, for instance, how often they saw gambling-related advertising online, how often they changed their most important social media passwords, and how often they uploaded pictures of themselves on social media. The respondents were asked whether they had ever been harassed online or had been the victim of a crime on the Internet in the past three years (e.g. defamation, identity theft, fraud, sexual harassment).

The respondents' identity bubbles on social media were surveyed by using the IBR scale (Identity Bubble Reinforcement Scale). The respondents were asked, for instance, whether they thought they could be themselves on social media and whether they only interacted with people similar to them on social media. Additionally, the CIUS scale (Compulsive Internet Use) was used to examine problems related to Internet use. Questions focused on, for example, whether the respondents found it difficult to stop using the Internet when they were online, whether people close to them said they should use the Internet less, and whether they felt restless, frustrated or irritated when they couldn't use the Internet.

In the next section of the questionnaire, the respondents were randomly assigned to two groups for a vignette experiment. Respondents in the test group were told they belong to Group C because they had answered the earlier questions in a similar manner to others in the group. Those in the control group were given no information on the group. The respondents were presented with different gambling-related social media scenarios, and they were asked to evaluate the contents of the gambling-related messages by "liking" or "disliking" the message or by not reacting to it at all. Each respondent was shown four different gambling messages with different contents. Three factors were manipulated in the scenarios (2x2x2 design): expressed stance of the message on gambling (positive or negative), narrative perspective of the message (experience-driven first-person narration or fact-driven third-person narration) and majority opinion of other respondents on the message (positively or negatively biased distribution of likes or dislikes). For Group C, the majority opinion was seemingly provided by other Group C members, whereas for the control group the majority opinion was seemingly provided by other respondents. Additionally, the respondents' attitudes towards the message were surveyed with statements regarding, for instance, how likely they would find the message interesting or share it on social media.

Next, the respondents' attitudes towards gambling were charted by using the ATGS scale (Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale). They were asked, for example, whether people should have the right to gamble whenever they want, whether most people who gamble do so sensibly and whether it would be better if gambling was banned altogether. The respondents' gambling habits were examined by using the SOGS scale (South Oaks Gambling Screen), and they were asked, for instance, which types of gambling they had done in the past 12 months (played slot machines, visited an online casino, bet on lotteries etc.), whether the people close to them had gambling problems, and whether they had borrowed money to gamble or to pay gambling debts. In addition, the respondents' alcohol consumption was surveyed with a few questions from the AUDITC scale (The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), and they were asked whether they had used various drugs for recreational purposes (e.g. cannabis, LSD, amphetamine, opioids).

The respondents' subjective well-being and social relationships were examined next. The respondents were asked how happy they were in general and how satisfied they were with their financial circumstances and life in general. They were also asked how well the single statement "I have high self-esteem" from the SISE scale (Single-item Self-esteem Scale) described them. The three statements on lacking companionship, feeling left out and feeling isolated from the LONE scale (Three-item Loneliness Scale) were also included in the survey. Feelings of belonging to different groups or communities (e.g. family, friends, neighbourhood, parish/religious community) were charted, and the 12-item GHQ scale (General Health Questionnaire) was used to survey the respondents' recent mental health. Questions included, for example, whether the respondents had been able to concentrate on what they were doing, had felt they couldn't overcome their difficulties, and had been losing confidence in themselves.

Finally, the respondents' sense of control over the events in their lives was examined with the MASTERY scale (Sense of Mastery Scale), with questions focusing on, for instance, whether they thought they had little control over the things that happen to them and whether they often felt helpless in dealing with the problems of life. The respondents' impulsivity was surveyed by using the EIS scale (Eysenck Impulsivity Scale) and their willingness to delay gratification was surveyed with the GRATIF scale (Delay of Gratification).

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, country of birth (own and parents') level of education, type of municipality of residence, number of inhabitants in municipality of residence, household composition, disposable income, possible financial problems, and economic activity and occupational status.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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