Date of Conferral







Tony Hobson


School drug use has been attributed to the annual suspension of thousands of secondary adolescents, subsequently contributing to poor academics, low graduation rates, and continued school drug use. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences of former adolescents who engaged in school drug use. Social learning theory suggests that behaviors observed from within the environment may later be modeled. Using Bandura's social learning theory, 10 participants, 18 years old and older responded to open-ended questions about how they processed school drug use. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, the responses to the open-ended questions were coded and analyzed. Bandura's social learning theory supports the key findings. Findings indicated that former students reported being influenced by their environment and others around them, such as friends. Additional findings from the study suggest that boredom was another reason students engaged in school drug use. While a few students enrolled in a new school after being suspended for school drug use, the findings suggest that out-of-school suspensions are not meaningful to students. After returning to school from their suspension, students felt behind in their school work. Implications for social change include understanding potential influences of school drug use on students and their environment. This understanding can benefit schools, parents, and the community through interventions and proactive measures that target school drug use among adolescents.