Project Title

Mentally Ill Caregivers And Differential Patterns of Substance Abuse in a Sample of University Students

Authors' Affiliations

Teliyah A. Cobb1, Alyssa P. Gretak1, MA, Kelcey L. Puszkiewicz1, MA, Jill D. Stinson1, PhD, and Megan Quinn2, DrPH, MSc, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 1Dept. of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences 2Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

32

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Jill Stinson

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Psychology

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

MENTALLY ILL CAREGIVERS AND DIFFERENTIAL PATTERNS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN A SAMPLE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Teliyah A. Cobb1, Alyssa P. Gretak1, MA, Kelcey L. Puszkiewicz1, MA, Jill D. Stinson1, PhD, and Megan Quinn2, DrPH, MSc, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

1Dept. of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

2Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health

Existing literature demonstrates a dose-responsive relationship between adverse childhood experiences (i.e., abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction) and the risk of problematic substance use later in life. While controlling for the effects of early adversity, a recent study found that childhood household dysfunction independently increased the risk of excessive alcohol use in adulthood. However, there are few studies focusing specifically on differences in substance use behaviors in individuals who had a caregiver with a mental health diagnosis. This study aims to fill this gap by examining whether having a caregiver with mental illness during one’s childhood increases the risk of abusing alcohol and illegal or prescription drugs in adulthood in a college sample. Our sample includes University students in the Southeastern U.S. (N = 995) who are mostly Caucasian (84%) and female (63%). Participants completed an online, anonymous survey for course credit. Approximately 23% (n = 227) reported having a caregiver with mental illness or who attempted or died by suicide. Regarding substance abuse, nearly 11% of the sample (n = 106) reported abuse of alcohol, 13% (n = 126) indicated abuse of illegal drugs, and almost 5% (n = 47) reported abuse of prescription medication. Pearson Chi-square tests were conducted to analyze the relationship between caregiver mental illness, including a caregiver who attempted or died by suicide, and abuse of alcohol, illegal, and prescription drugs in adulthood. Interestingly, individuals with a mentally ill caregiver were less likely to abuse alcohol, c2 (1, N = 983) = 12.56, p = .000, and illegal drugs, c2 (1, N = 984) = 22.68, p = .000, as an adult, compared to those without a mentally ill caregiver. In contrast, students with a mentally ill caregiver were more likely to abuse prescription drugs as adults, c2 (1, N = 979) = 32.54, p = .000, compared to those without a caregiver suffering from a mental illness. Thus, findings suggest that having a mentally ill caregiver differentially impacted the risk of abusing varying types of substances. Additional analyses examining the influence of mental illness in biological versus non-biological caregivers (e.g., stepparent, foster parent) and further discussion of implications will be included.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Mentally Ill Caregivers And Differential Patterns of Substance Abuse in a Sample of University Students

Ballroom

MENTALLY ILL CAREGIVERS AND DIFFERENTIAL PATTERNS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN A SAMPLE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Teliyah A. Cobb1, Alyssa P. Gretak1, MA, Kelcey L. Puszkiewicz1, MA, Jill D. Stinson1, PhD, and Megan Quinn2, DrPH, MSc, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

1Dept. of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

2Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health

Existing literature demonstrates a dose-responsive relationship between adverse childhood experiences (i.e., abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction) and the risk of problematic substance use later in life. While controlling for the effects of early adversity, a recent study found that childhood household dysfunction independently increased the risk of excessive alcohol use in adulthood. However, there are few studies focusing specifically on differences in substance use behaviors in individuals who had a caregiver with a mental health diagnosis. This study aims to fill this gap by examining whether having a caregiver with mental illness during one’s childhood increases the risk of abusing alcohol and illegal or prescription drugs in adulthood in a college sample. Our sample includes University students in the Southeastern U.S. (N = 995) who are mostly Caucasian (84%) and female (63%). Participants completed an online, anonymous survey for course credit. Approximately 23% (n = 227) reported having a caregiver with mental illness or who attempted or died by suicide. Regarding substance abuse, nearly 11% of the sample (n = 106) reported abuse of alcohol, 13% (n = 126) indicated abuse of illegal drugs, and almost 5% (n = 47) reported abuse of prescription medication. Pearson Chi-square tests were conducted to analyze the relationship between caregiver mental illness, including a caregiver who attempted or died by suicide, and abuse of alcohol, illegal, and prescription drugs in adulthood. Interestingly, individuals with a mentally ill caregiver were less likely to abuse alcohol, c2 (1, N = 983) = 12.56, p = .000, and illegal drugs, c2 (1, N = 984) = 22.68, p = .000, as an adult, compared to those without a mentally ill caregiver. In contrast, students with a mentally ill caregiver were more likely to abuse prescription drugs as adults, c2 (1, N = 979) = 32.54, p = .000, compared to those without a caregiver suffering from a mental illness. Thus, findings suggest that having a mentally ill caregiver differentially impacted the risk of abusing varying types of substances. Additional analyses examining the influence of mental illness in biological versus non-biological caregivers (e.g., stepparent, foster parent) and further discussion of implications will be included.