An Exploratory Multilevel Analysis of Non-Prescription Stimulant Use in a Sample of College Students

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  • Non-prescription stimulant use is a high-risk behavior prevalent in the college population. To date, research on this substance use behavior lacks a comprehensive theoretical lens, as well as geographical diversity. Guided by the Theory of Triadic Influence (TTI), multilevel (i.e. students within schools) modeling was used to analyze survey data from the Spring 2009 American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II (ACHA-NCHA II). We hypothesized that the behavior would be associated with ultimate underlying causes, distal predisposing influences, proximal immediate predictors, and immediate precursors found in the TTI’s three streams of influence (i.e., intrapersonal, social situation/context, and sociocultural environment). In our sample (N = 10,220 students; 18 schools), the mean prevalence of past-year use of prescription stimulants without a prescription was 10.70% (range: 0.33%-20.04%). Our hypothesis regarding the multifaceted nature of the predictors of the behavior was supported. Implications for prevention efforts, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
  • Keywords: Quantitative Methods, Non-Prescription Stimulant Use, Hierarchical Modeling, College Students
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  • Bavarian, N., Flay, B. R., & Smit, E. (2014). An exploratory multilevel analysis of nonprescription stimulant use in a sample of college students. Journal of Drug Issues, 44(2), 132-149. doi:10.1177/0022042613491109
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  • 44
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  • 2
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  • This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors; however, preparation of this manuscript was funded by NIAAA Training Grant T32 AA014125.
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