239870 Examining Prescription Stimulant Abuse Among Undergraduate Students Using the Theory of Planned Behavior

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Andrew Robert Gallucci, PhD, ATC, CSCS , Baylor University, Waco, TX
Stuart Usdan, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Deidre Leaver-Dunn, PhD, LAT, ATC , Department of Health Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Jeri Zemke, PhD, LAT, ATC , Department of Health Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Meg E. Sheppard, PhD, CHES , College of Community Health Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and motivations associated with the misuse of prescription stimulant medications among undergraduate college students aged 18 to 24.

Methods: Undergraduate students aged 18 to 24 were recruited from a large public university in the southeastern United States to complete an in class 88-item survey. This survey was created by the authors in order to assess the prevalence, motivations, and Theory of Planned Behavior constructs that are significantly associated with the misuse and diversion of prescription stimulant medications.

Results: 974 undergraduates completed a survey during class time at the university in which the research was conducted. Results of this study indicated that 35.6% had misused a prescription stimulant in their lifetime. A logistic regression revealed a significant model (df=9, x2=395.99, p<0.01) that explained 47.4% of the variance. Results indicated the seven variables of Greek status (p<0.05), race (p<0.001), student class (p<0.001), attitude (p<0.05), behavioral beliefs (p<0.001), and perceived behavioral control (influence & control beliefs; p<0.05) as significant predictors of the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants. Specifically, the Theory of Planned Behavior constructs of attitude and perceived behavioral control were able to predict stimulant misuse while social norms were not a significant predictor.

Conclusions: Findings identified specific subsections of the student body at risk for stimulant misuse. Also, results indicate that the Theory of Planned behavior has some utility in explaining stimulant misuse. These outcomes could assist health professionals to create policies and health programs aimed at reducing stimulant misuse.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify prevalence rates of prescription stimulant abuse among undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. 2. Evaluate the utility of the Theory of Planned Behavior in examing prescription stimulant abuse. 3. Report motivations for prescription stimulant misuse.

Keywords: Prescription Drug Use Patterns, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I chaired the dissertation committee in which the research was completed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.