247068 Role of illegal drug use in community college completion

Monday, October 31, 2011

Janet E. Rosenbaum, PhD, AM , Maryland Population Research Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
The Obama administration has prioritized increasing community college completion rates because currently only 20% of community college students earn a degree. The role of substance use in community college degree completion is poorly understood because major longitudinal studies focus on 4 year college students. This study compares the substance use behaviors of students at 2 and 4 year colleges and identifies substance use factors among community college students that predict having not earned a post-secondary degree within 7 years. This study uses waves 3 and 4 of Add Health to study students at 2 and 4 year colleges (n=5042.) Preliminary analysis used separate survey-weighted logistic regressions for each substance use measure, adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, Peabody vocabulary test score, mother's education level, and full-time school status. Subsequent analysis will use matched sampling methods including coarsened exact and propensity score matching. Compared with 4 year college students, community college students were more likely in the past year to have used marijuana (OR 1.3 (1.0, 1.6)), cocaine (OR 1.8 (1.3, 2.5)), methamphetamines (OR 4.9 (2.3, 10.4)), and to have been in alcohol or drug treatment (OR 2.5 (1.4, 4.3)). Seven years later, 53% of community college students earned a degree. In separate multivariate regressions, wave 3 methamphetamine use (OR 0.4 (0.2, 0.8)) was the only significant predictor of not earning a degree within 7 years. Community college students have more illegal drug use than 4 year students. Methamphetamines may inhibit degree completion more than other drugs.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives: 1. From attending this session, participants will be able to identify and describe substance use patterns of community college and 4 year college students. 2. Participants will be able to explain how matched sampling can control for confounding within diverse samples. 3. Participants will be able to analyze barriers to community college degree completion that future interventions could address.

Keywords: Drug Use, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I research community college student risk behaviors.
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.