Non-medical prescription stimulant use among sorority and fraternity college populations: Relationship with psychological variables

Crystal Dussault, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

Research findings suggest that approximately 2-10% of college students display symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (McKee, 2008). Pharmacological interventions, such as stimulants, are most often used to treat ADHD symptoms (Conner, 2006). The non-medical use of prescription stimulants among college students has become evident in recent years (DeSantis, Noar & Webb, 2010). Preliminary studies suggest that students who are members of fraternities and sororities tend to report higher rates of non-medical stimulant use and that psychological variables may also be related to non-medical stimulant use (Weyandt et al., 2009). The present study examined non-medical stimulant use among fraternity/sorority members and non-members and explored whether psychological variables were related to non-medical stimulant use among 1,033 undergraduate students from five universities located in the northeastern, southeastern, northwestern, southwestern, and midwestern regions of the United States. It was hypothesized that sorority/fraternity members would report higher ratings of self-reported prescription stimulant use, perception of prevalence of stimulant use among peers, knowledge of atypical stimulant use among peers, and perception of safety of stimulants. It was also hypothesized that college students who reported higher ratings of depression, anxiety, and stress would also reported higher ratings of non-medical stimulant use. The final hypothesis was that college students who reported higher ratings of internal distractibility, internal restlessness, internal impulsivity, and internal disorganization would report higher ratings of non-medical stimulant use. Results revealed that fraternity and sorority members reported a higher rate of non-medical stimulant use than non-members. Regression analyses revealed that higher ratings of anxiety and stress significantly predicted non-medical stimulant use and that higher ratings of internal impulsivity and internal restlessness also significantly predicted non-medical stimulant use.

Subject Area

Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Crystal Dussault, "Non-medical prescription stimulant use among sorority and fraternity college populations: Relationship with psychological variables" (2011). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3450832.
https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3450832

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