Recent research suggests a diverse range of motivational influences are involved in the decision to gamble and in the maintenance of gambling behaviour. However, to date, much of the existing research is cross sectional which prevents the temporal nature of gambling motivations and behaviour to be examined. To address this gap, the current longitudinal study surveyed 895 members from a community sample about their gambling behaviour and motivations to gamble at two time periods, twelve months apart. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was employed as a framework to model the respondents' beliefs about expected outcomes of gambling, perceptions of others gambling, erroneous beliefs, intention to gamble and gambling behaviour. Consistent with the assumptions of the TPB, beliefs about the outcomes of gambling, social perceptions and erroneous beliefs were related to the intention to gamble at time one. In addition, the predictive validity of the model was supported with gambling intention (time 1) predicting subsequent gambling frequency. Further analysis revealed gambling behaviour was equally as intentional for non at-risk gamblers (PGSI = 0) and those classified as at-risk gamblers (PGSI > 2). Furthermore, respondents' unplanned behaviour was partial explained by changes in gambling beliefs. Taken together, the current study suggests that the frequency of gambling is predominately intentional, despite the level of gambling involvement, and that changes in motivation correspond with changes in gambling behaviour.


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