Term of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jessica Brooks

Committee Member 1

Nick Holtzman

Committee Member 2

Ty Boyer


The non-medical use of prescription stimulants (NMUPS) is a growing concern across U.S. college campuses. Amphetamine misuse increased from 7.7% to 11.1% among undergraduate students over the past decade. Research has identified Greek-life members are twice as likely to report NMUPS in comparison to non-Greek-life members; however, little is known about social and psychological factors contributing to this discrepancy. While researchers have identified specific personality characteristics significantly correlated with higher levels of reported NMUPS, including sensation seeking and internal restlessness, currently little is known about social factors related to NMUPS. It is important to examine psychosocial variables motivating NMUPS in college students, and specifically Greek-life members, given the social nature of these at-risk groups. This study sought to fill these gaps by examining the role of resistance to peer influence on college students reported engagement in NMUPS (without prescription) within an identified model of use involving internal restlessness and sensation seeking. A total of 613 undergraduate participants (Women: n = 418; Greek-life affiliates: n = 116) from a southeastern university were included in final analyses. A majority of the participants were 19 years of age. The results supported previous research whereby internal restlessness and sensation seeking traits predicted NMUPS (without prescription), however, resistance to peer influence failed to add predictive validity to this model. Moreover, participants from rural geographic regions were at significantly greater risk of lifetime use of NMUPS (without prescription) than participants from suburban/urban geographic regions. The findings suggest that identifying alternative and adaptive techniques to substitute NMUPS, rather than focusing on the influence of the peer group, could be an effective treatment strategy for undergraduate students.

Research Data and Supplementary Material