This exploratory study examined the knowledge, experience, attitude, and perceptions of drugs reported by international students from mainland China (N = 97) studying on the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. Chinese students currently constitute the largest group of international students at universities on the West Coast, which is also the epicenter of a major shift in the legal and cultural status of cannabis. Participants’ knowledge, exposure, use, attitudes, and norms of peers’ use of five drugs (cannabis, heroin, ketamine, methamphetamine, and Adderall) were elicited through an online survey. Data were analyzed quantitatively (descriptive statistics, means of paired samples, correlations). Many correlations existed between participants’ attitudes, comments they heard others make, and their beliefs about their peers’ drug use. Participants were most familiar with cannabis; their exposure to others’ comments about and use of cannabis in North America were starkly different than what they had experienced in China. About 10% of the sample had tried cannabis in North America. Students were familiar with heroin and methamphetamine from their experiences in China, and those drugs were viewed extremely negatively. Use of and exposure to ketamine and Adderall were rare, and all drugs were viewed much more negatively when asked in the context of living in China than in North America. Given the current and recent changes in drug laws around the world and students’ reported experience with cannabis, this study underlines the urgency of educating international students regarding drug use as well as informing educational policy at the university level.
|Commitee:||Reiman, Amanda, Suzuki, Sawako|
|School:||Saint Mary's College of California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Cannabis, Chinese international students, Culture, Drugs|
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