Date of Conferral







Dr. Donna Heretick


Abuse of prescription and over-the-counter substances other than alcohol is becoming a prevalent issue; therefore, it is important to identify factors that may help predict risk for this abuse. Some demographic and situational factors have been identified for traditional 4-year college students. However, less is known about community college students, who enter college less academically prepared and may be still enmeshed with family and peer groups from high school. In this correlational study, predictors of substance abuse other than alcohol were explored among a convenience sample of 118 students from an American community college. The research question was developed based on previous research such as Bandura's social learning theory and Arnett's theory of emerging adults. The question explored how well gender (male, female, other) and 2 dimensions from the Ryff scale of psychological well-being (sense of autonomy and positive relationships with others) predict substance use among the community college sample. Use of substances other than alcohol was measured using the Drug Abuse Screening Test-10. A multiple linear regression analysis was used to test the research hypotheses. Although gender was not related to substance use, higher autonomy and more positive relationships scores were statistically significant predictors of higher use of substances other than alcohol among this sample. These findings were consistent with characteristics of emerging adulthood that may present risk factors for this group of college students. Findings support positive social change as they may be considered by stakeholders when considering possible prevention or intervention activities to address substance use issues on community college campuses.