Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Kevin J. Armstrong

Committee Member

Hilary Deshong

Committee Member

Cliff McKinney

Committee Member

Michael R. Nadorff

Date of Degree

8-6-2021

Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 1 year

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only

Major

Applied Psychology (Clinical Psychology Concentration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Abstract

Illicit use of prescription stimulants (IUPS) has become more common in the late adolescent and emerging adulthood populations. This study examined the impact of close friend and parent disapproval/approval on IUPS in college students. A sample of 903 college students (MAge = 19.23) completed a questionnaire assessing variables including lifetime IUPS (14.59% of sample), and perceived close friend/parent disapproval/approval of either academic or recreational IUPS. A 2 X 2 chi-square test of independence was used to analyze data regarding perceived close friend/parent disapproval/approval and IUPS. There were four primary findings. First, students were significantly less likely to report having engaged in IUPS if they perceived close friend (2 (1) = 55.99, p < .001) or parent disapproval (2 (1) = 31.99, p < .001) of IUPS for academic purposes. Second, students were significantly less likely to report having engaged in IUPS if they perceived close friend disapproval of IUPS for recreational purposes (2 (1) = 24.38, p < .001). Third, students were significantly more likely to report having engaged in IUPS if they perceived close friend approval (2 (1) = 51.17, p < .001) and parent approval (2 (1) = 7.87, p = .005) for academically-motivated IUPS. Fourth, students were significantly more likely to report having engaged in IUPS if they perceived close friend approval for recreationally-motivated IUPS (2 (1) = 33.86, p < .001). Future researchers should focus on conducting longitudinal studies to confirm if perceived close friend and parent approval function as risk factors for IUPS and if disapproval functions as a protective factor. Future research is also needed to help identify whether student perceptions of disapproval and approval are accurate (i.e., do close friendsand parents really approve or disapprove of IUPS?). Finally, investigators should work to assess whether increased perceptions of disapproval can function to reduce level of IUPS (i.e., not just liftetime prevalence) and whether increases in perceived approval function to exacerbate IUPS. Results of these kinds of research efforts would better inform whether psychoeducational interventions should target decreasing approval and increasing disapproval perceptions in order to both prevent and reduce IUPS behaviors.

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