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Students' stimulant use for cognitive enhancement

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Ondertitel:a deliberate choice rather than an emotional response to a given situation
Background Prescription stimulants such as methylphenidate are usually prescribed to treat attention deficit (and hyperactivity) disorders (ADHD). Recently, these drugs have gained popularity among college students, because of the belief that they can help improve academic performance. Objectives This study assessed whether engaging in nonmedical use of prescription stimulants for cognitive enhancement is a rational or a more spontaneous decision-making process. Method A survey was conducted among 661 students (63.5 % females, n = 420, Mage = 21.40). Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results A total of 15.9 % (n = 105) of the students had previously taken stimulants to improve their academic performance. The use of stimulants was significantly higher among males (22.4 %) than females (12.1 %). Positive attitudes toward stimulant use for cognitive enhancement were strongest related to students’ intention to take stimulants for increasing their academic performance, followed by the norm of parents. Additionally, the more the students identified themselves with the prototype of a student using stimulants for cognitive enhancement, the more likely they were to be willing to misuse stimulants. Conclusions The findings suggest that using stimulants for cognitive enhancement is a rational choice rather than an unplanned one.
Tijdschrift: Drug and alcohol dependence
ISSN: 0376-8716
Volume: 218
Aantal pagina's: 6
Jaar van publicatie:2021
Trefwoorden:A1 Journal article