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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2012 Jan-Mar;44(1):86-91.

Predictors of nonmedical use of prescription stimulants.

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University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.


College students across the U.S. engage in nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NMUPS) at increasing rates. While it has been found that use is frequently motivated by a belief that stimulants will act as a study aid, little is known about predictors of NMUPS. The present study addressed impulsivity, outcome expectancies, and evaluations of expected outcomes as predictors of NMUPS in a sample of 206 college students at a mid-Atlantic university. Approximately 26.1% of students endorsed past year NMUPS. Results indicated an increased likelihood of self-reported NMUPS was associated with increases in lack of premeditation, sensation seeking, positive expectancies and positive evaluations. Moreover, the extent to which participants believed that potential negative consequences were more severe was associated with a decreased likelihood of NMUPS. The current study suggests that impulsive personality, outcome expectancies, and evaluations of expected outcomes are important predictors of NMUPS among college students. Future research should consider other potential predictors of NMUPS in order to inform the development of prevention strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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