The instrumental misuse of prescription stimulants as "study drugs", particularly by college students, is a serious issue that needs to be further investigated. Using data from a sample of 549 University of Central Florida Orlando students, the current study tested the relationship between prescription stimulant misuse and social learning theory, as well as general strain theory. Approximately 17% of participants reported misusing prescription stimulants for academic purposes at least once in the past year. Findings show support for social learning theory; the number of friends who use prescription stimulants and the individual's attitudes about the effectiveness of the drugs are both significant variables. General strain theory was divided into two parts; the first one tests the relationship between strain and negative affect, while the second tests negative affect, strain and prescription stimulant misuse. Overall, general strain theory was not found to explain prescription stimulant misuse. Also, results showed students who binge drink or use other substances are significantly more likely to report prescription stimulant misuse. Potential implications for these findings are discussed, as well as future research directions.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Ong, Julianne, "Social learning and general strain theories' relationship with prescription stimulant misuse for academic purposes among college students" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1231.