Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Armstrong, Kevin J.

Committee Member

Hood, Kristina B.

Committee Member

Nadorff, Michael R.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Little research exists on gender differences regarding prevalence or perceptions of risk associated with college students’ misuse, illegal consumption, and diversion of prescription stimulant medications. Data from Mississippi State University undergraduates (N = 1,714) were examined for gender differences in illicit behaviors and related risk perceptions. Men were more likely to report consumption and diversion, but not more likely to report misuse of their own prescription stimulants. Overall, men reported lower risk perceptions associated with consumption of others’ prescription stimulants. This finding held true for legal and health risk perceptions for those uninvolved in diversion or consumption, for health risk perceptions for those who report consumption, and for social risk perceptions for those who report diversion. Although some analyses were underpowered, results help clarify how researchers define and measure these behaviors, determine possible relationships between risk perceptions and illicit use of prescription stimulant medications, and identify potential targets for intervention.