Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Meredith Ginley

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Shelby Whalan


Nonmedical use of prescription stimuluants (NMUS) can cause adverse outcomes for college students including academic impediments, such as a lowered GPA, and polyuse of illicit substances (Garcia et al., 2021; Holt & McCarthy, 2019; Norman & Ford, 2018). The current study investigated the demographics, academics, stress, and polysubstance use between students who endorsed NMUS and those who did not in an undergraduate college population sample at a large public university in the Southeast. The sample consisted of 429 undergraduate students who completed online measures of demographics, perceived stress, stressful life events, and substance use. Overall, 3.4% of the sample reported NMUS within the past two weeks. Chi-square analyses suggested that the two groups did not differ in gender, ethnicity, and year in school. A significant difference between groups was found for race (p = .002). Students who self-identified as White were more likely to report NMUS as compared to students self-identifying as another race. No significant difference between groups was found for credit hours or GPA. Additionally, no significant differences were observed between groups regarding stress and stressful life events. Concerning overall substance use, approximately 70% of the sample endorsed no drug use. Notably, students who endorsed NMUS were more likely to report some use of another non-stimulant type of drug, suggesting that NMUS may occur in the context of polyuse for some students.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.