NCRG Awards Research Grant For Online Tool To Help College Students Assess Their Gambling Behavior

Online Screening and Brief Intervention Tool will be Located on

Oct 18, 2011

WASHINGTON –The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) awarded a research grant of $171,561 to Clayton Neighbors, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the Social Influences and Health Behaviors Lab at the University of Houston, for the development and testing of an online screening and brief intervention (SBI) aimed at reducing gambling-related problems among college students. The SBI will be included on the NCRG’s new website,, which was developed as a tool to help higher-education institutions address gambling disorders and responsible gaming on campus.

Research finds that 75 percent of college students gambled during the past year (whether legally or illegally, on campus or off). While the vast majority of those old enough to legally gamble can do so responsibly, the most recent research estimates that 6 percent of college students in the U.S. have a serious gambling problem that can result in psychological difficulties, unmanageable debt and failing grades. For those who are not of legal age to gamble, there is no level of responsible gambling.

‘Nearly all U.S. colleges and universities have policies on student alcohol use; however, only 22 percent have a formal policy on gambling,’ said Glenn Christenson, chairman of the NCRG. ‘Students who admit to having a gambling problem sometimes find a lack of support on campus. The goal of the SBI will be to help college students assess their own gambling behaviors to determine if their gambling is likely to be harming their health or increasing their risk for future harm.’

Dr. Neighbors and his research team will conduct a randomized controlled trial evaluating a Personalized Normative Feedback (PNF) intervention for college students with gambling problems. Research has shown that PNF interventions have been successfully used to reduce rates of drinking on campus by showing students their misperceptions of student drinking behavior. Dr. Neighbors will translate this research and create an online screening instrument to reduce problem gambling by showing students their misperceptions of student gambling behavior. This free resource is expected to be available on in 2013. is a comprehensive resource for students, campus administrators, campus health professionals and parents. The first site of its kind, brings together the latest research and best practices in responsible gaming and the field of addiction awareness and prevention to provide a substantive and versatile resource that will help schools and their students address this issue in the way best suited to each school. In addition to providing those who are concerned about a gambling problem with resources to find help, the website includes separate sections for each of these audiences, and content is tailored to address the needs, questions and concerns of each of these groups. builds on the recommendations of the Task Force on College Gambling Policies, which was established in 2008 by the NCRG and the Division on Addictions at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

For more information about college gambling or the Task Force on College Gambling Policies, To learn more about the NCRG and its programs, To stay up-to-date on year-round educational opportunities and the latest news and issues in the field, visit the NCRG’s blog –Gambling Disorders 360°; and connect with the NCRG onFacebookandTwitter.