Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Medication Misuse among College Students Who Self-Identify as Having Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
by Benjamin-Stennett, Alicia A., Ph.D., Capella University, 2019, 127; 27665515
Abstract (Summary)

Research has previously concluded that symptoms of ADHD diagnosed in childhood or adolescence continue to persist into adulthood. There is growing evidence that supports the need to understand how ADHD progresses into adulthood and how individuals who have not been previously diagnosed might manifest symptoms into adulthood. Current research suggests that risk factors associated with an ADHD diagnosis can affect academic outcomes, can cause problems in interpersonal relationships, and can result in increased substance use. However, there is a gap in the research in understanding how symptoms of ADHD present in early adulthood, specifically during the college years, and how diagnosis status relates to substance use and misuse of stimulant medication. To explore this further, the current research study looked to answer the following research questions: How does diagnosis status relate to usage frequency for any of the 17 general substances identified in the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA II)? and How does diagnosis status relate to stimulant medication misuse as measured by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA II)? A quantitative, nonexperimental research design was used to analyze data from the Spring 2014 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment. The original data set consisted of 79,266 students of which 66,687 were undergraduates. The subset of this dataset that was used for this study included 3,607 students with self-reported ADHD symptoms. A correlational research design was used to examine the relationships between diagnosis status, usage frequency for general substances, stimulant medication misuse, and select demographic variables among two comparison groups of U.S. college students. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics and Spearman correlations to answer the research questions. For the first research question comparing frequency of 17 general substances within the last month, the study found that diagnosis status (ADHD diagnosis and no ADHD diagnosis) did correlate with usage frequency but only related to the use of amphetamines and smokeless tobacco. There was no correlation among the other identified substances. Regarding the second research question, it was determined that the relationship between stimulant medication misuse and diagnosis status (ADHD diagnosis and no ADHD diagnosis) was not significant.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Krabill, Paige
Commitee: Atkins, Philip, Waugh, Catherine
School: Capella University
Department: School of Counseling and Human Services
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Clinical psychology
Keywords: ADHD, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, College students, General substance misuse, Stimulant medication misuse
Publication Number: 27665515
ISBN: 9781392759325
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