Psychosocial determinants of intention to use non-prescribed stimulant drugs among Northern Irish students: an integrated theoretical approach

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Background: This study examines the psychological and social determinants of intention to use non-prescribed stimulants (NPS) among students living in Northern Ireland (NI), using The Theory of Planned Behaviour and Social Cognitive Theory as an integrated theoretical framework.
Methods: A cross-sectional design was used, where N=300 students living in NI completed an online survey advertised on social media. Demographics, background factors (lifestyle/academic factors), and theoretical constructs including knowledge, attitudes, personal norms, social influences, self-efficacy, behavioural intention, and behaviour related to use of NPS, were measured. Theoretical construct measures were adapted from previous similar studies and the item scales had sound internal consistency (α=0.67-0.96). Hierarchical multiple regression was used, with behavioural intention as the criterion variable, and with demographics, background factors, and theoretical constructs entered into two blocks.
Findings: The majority of respondents were aged 18-24 (97.7%), were women (78%), and were studying at undergraduate university level, across a range of academic disciplines. Prevalence of use of NPS was low (6.6%). Covariates accounted for 54% of the variance in intention to use NPS. Stronger personal norms, lower perceptions of social disapproval, lower academic satisfaction, and greater alcohol consumption significantly contributed to this variance.
Discussion: An integrated theoretical approach facilitated exploration of the influence of various psychosocial and relevant lifestyle/academic factors on behavioural intentions towards using NPS. Results suggest low rates of use of NPS, however there is some indication of factors that may increase risk of use, which can inform NI student support needs. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2021
Event35th Annual Conferernce of the European Health Psychology Socirty -
Duration: 23 Aug 202127 Aug 2021
https://2021.ehps.net/

Conference

Conference35th Annual Conferernce of the European Health Psychology Socirty
Period23/08/202127/08/2021
Internet address

Keywords

  • Non-prescription medication
  • Cognitive enhancers
  • Smart drugs
  • Student stress; eustress; coping; satisfaction; motivation; learning.
  • Student wellbeing

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Psychosocial determinants of intention to use non-prescribed stimulant drugs among Northern Irish students: an integrated theoretical approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this