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Applying social learning theory constructs to better understand non-prescription stimulant use in college students

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Hillman, Natasha
Van Doren, David; Peters, Scott; Okocha, Aneneosa
Jan 03, 2017
College students--Drug use; Social learning
Non-prescription stimulant use (NPSU) among young adults is a growing concern on college campuses, however there are only few studies that have empirically examined this phenomenon. The purpose of the present study was to measure the influence of social learning theory (measured as four independent constructs) and academic self-efficacy on NPSU among college students. An online survey was administered to 396 undergraduate students who classified as full-time sophomores, juniors, or seniors at a Midwestern university. The anonymous online survey included the College Self-Efficacy Inventory (Solberg et al., 1993) and the Social Learning Theory Questionnaire (Peralta & Steele, 2010) (consisting of differential association, definitions, imitation, and differential reinforcement subscales), as well as demographic questions. The results of this study provide empirical support for designing and developing interventions or programs aimed at educating college students and professors on the prevalence of and potential academic effect NPSU has on students. The study results extend awareness of factors, which might enhance the probability of use. This study contributes to the literature by further exploring the intricate behavior of NPSU, specifically in the context of individual differences in academic self-efficacy and social learning. Additionally, findings may be helpful for those in the counseling field in further conceptualizing the increased use of NPSU among college students and helping students that may be at-risk. Lastly, these findings advance the current NPSU theoretical framework.
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