Attitudes Towards Recreational Drug Use: A Study of Kennesaw State University Students

Matthew Fenner, Jack Arbuckle, Daron Pracharn, Aaron Murray, Sierra Wynn, Coby Shepherd, Katerina Joseph, Giovanni Still, Arely Cruz, Priya Dogra, and Dr. Amy Buddie, Department of Psychology, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw GA 30144

Illicit substance usage has always formed a substantial controversy in society, with differing substances being utilized for a variety of purposes and contexts. Prior research has indicated that substances have been used for stress relief, attention enchancement, and the attainment of peer approval (Agarwal, Loukas, & Perry, 2018; Lui, 2019; Maahs, Weidner, & Smith, 2016). The main focus of this study is on collegiate studentsā€™ attitudes towards these drugs and the correlation of said attitudes with substance use. Recent research has indicated that attitudes of college students towards drugs may be changing (Vidourek, King, Merianos, Burbage, Oluwoye, 2018). Additionally, drug usage is significantly higher amongst American college-aged individuals than the wider adult population (SAMHSA, 2017). Other research found that college students react more positively to substance abuse treatment programs than their non-student counterparts. (Sahker, Acion, & Arndt, 2015) Therefore, it is essential to the success of these programs that they are equipped with the most accurate data concerning student usage of these drugs. In order to measure college students' attitudes, the Drug Attitudes Scale, or DAS, was employed (Goodstadt, Cook, Magid, & Gruson, 1978). A modified version was used, in order to update some of the language for modern times, focus on the specific drugs of interest, and to distinguish between nicotine usage via smoking cigarettes and vaping. Additionally, two questions were modified from the Moral Disengagement in Doping scale, in order to have questions relating to each drug that could be directly compared (Kavussanu, Hatzigeorgiadis, Elbe, & Ring, 2016). In addition to providing updated data on students' attitudes towards these drugs, usage of the modified DAS ā€“ coupled with the modified questions from the Moral Disengagement in Doping scale ā€“ could provide an updated, modern scale which can be used to measure these attitudes in a variety of contexts.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Matthew Fenner, Jack Arbuckle, Daron Pracharn, Aaron Murray, Sierra Wynn, Coby Shepherd, Katerina Joseph, Giovanni Still, Arely Cruz

Institution: Kennesaw State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6626