Predicting students' intention to use stimulants for academic performance enhancement
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
New York, N.Y.
Substance use and misuse. - New York, N.Y., 1996, currens
, p. 275-282
University of Antwerp
Background: The non-medical use of stimulants for academic performance enhancement is becoming a more common practice among college and university students. Objective: The objective of this study is to gain a better understanding of students intention to use stimulant medication for the purpose of enhancing their academic performance. Based on an extended model of Ajzen's theory of planned behavior, we examined the predictive value of attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, psychological distress, procrastination, substance use, and alcohol use on students intention to use stimulants to improve their academic performance. Methods: The sample consisted of 3,589 Flemish university and college students (mean age: 21.59, SD: 4.09), who participated anonymously in an online survey conducted in March and April 2013. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the relationships among the study variables. Results: Our results indicate that subjective norm is the strongest predictor of students intention to use stimulant medication, followed by attitude and perceived behavioral control. To a lesser extent, procrastinating tendencies, psychological distress, and substance abuse contribute to students intention. Conclusions/ Importance: Based on these findings, we provide several recommendations on how to curtail students intention to use stimulant medication for the purpose of improving their academic performance. In addition, we urge researchers to identify other psychological variables that might be related to students intention.