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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221629 Find in a Library
Title: Preliminary Study of the Factors That Influence College Student Perceptions of the Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs: Criminal Justice Versus Noncriminal Justice Students
Journal: Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society  Volume:20  Issue:4  Dated:December 2007  Pages:407-422
Author(s): Melissa L. Ricketts; George E. Higgins
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared the perceptions of the nonmedical use of prescription drugs between criminal justice and noncriminal justice majors.
Abstract: The findings indicate that no specific measure or factor consistently influences college student perceptions. However, when examining the role of self-control, it was found that for two drugs, opiates and stimulants, low self-control had an important influence on the perceptions of the non-majors. Factors that influenced perceptions of prescription opiates used for criminal justice majors were that both White male students who resided off- campus and non-majors perceived fraternity members living off-campus as users of prescription opiates for nonmedical purposes. In the context of stimulants, White criminal justice majors perceived that male students living off-campus abused prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. While non-majors perceived that on campus sorority members used prescription stimulants for nonmedical purposes. It is noteworthy that the perceptions of non-majors were influenced by pure norms, the respondents' low self-control, and their prior prescription stimulant use for nonmedical purposes. Criminal justice majors perceived that females who were involved in intercollegiate athletics used prescription depressants for nonmedical purposes, whereas non-majors were only influenced by the view that non-respondent males who lived off-campus used prescription depressants for nonmedical purposes. The findings demonstrate that no specific measure or factor consistently influences the perceptions of criminal justice majors or non-majors. That is, the findings revealed almost completely different factors were perceived for each type of drug and/or potential drug user. Each drug had different contextual issues that dictated the perception of criminal justice majors and non-majors. Low self- control is an important measure to include in future student perceptions studies. Contextual issues should be explored in greater detail before specific policies are developed. However the present study shows that residency of students may be an important issue for college administrators to explore. Tables, references, appendix
Main Term(s): Opioids; Prescription drugs; Public Opinion of Drug Abuse
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitude scales; Adolescent attitudes; Comparative criminology; Criminal justice research; Sociology; Students
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