Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Armstrong, Kevin J.

Committee Member

Hood, Kristina B.

Committee Member

McKinney, Cliff

Committee Member

Nadorff, Michael

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


The present study used the Health Belief Model (HBM) to better understand how perceived susceptibility and severity (perceived threat) can contribute to college student’s willingness to use non-prescription stimulants (NPS). Prior research has shown that as the perceived threat of use increased college student’s intentions to use NPS has decreased (Sattler, Mehlkop, & Graeff, 2013). The psychology research pool was used to recruit 1067 non-user undergraduate students to complete the vignettes and the survey. Participants were given one of sixteen different vignettes that manipulated the perceived threat for academic and health consequences associated with NPS use. Data analyses showed that a combination of high perceived academic threat (high susceptibility and severity) along with high health susceptibility yielded the lowest willingness to use NPS. Therefore, the higher susceptibility that an academic and health consequence will occur along with the higher severity of an academic consequence will occur predicted the lowest intentions to use NPS. Future research should continue to examine what factors can best deter non-users and users from using NPS.