Points Research Bibliography: Addiction Stigma, Support, and Spirituality in the Americas

Editor’s Note:  These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

Does Perceived Faculty Support Moderate the Effects of Stress on Student Nurse Substance Use?

Author: Boulton, Martha Ann

Publication info: Teachers College, Columbia University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2016. 10126378.

Abstract: Purpose: Nurses who abuse substances are a threat to patients, colleagues, society, and themselves. The purpose of this research, guided by Hildegard Peplau’s Interpersonal Theory in Nursing, was to identify rates of substance misuse by student nurses and determine whether a relationship exists between stress and substance misuse and whether perceived faculty support moderates the effect of stress on substance misuse. In addition, the relationship among perception of peer use, perception of harmfulness, and substance use was explored. Method: A quantitative, cross-sectional, correlational design was used to determine whether a relationship exists between stress and substance abuse and whether perceived faculty support moderates the effect of stress and substance misuse in student nurses. The convenience sample of National Student Nurses’ Association members yielded 4,033 completed surveys. Students were given the Student Nurse Stress Index and Perceived Faculty Support Scale, and asked about their past-year substance use, perceived peer substance use, and perceived harmfulness of substance use, via Survey Monkey. Responses were analyzed through exploratory data analysis and logistic regression. Results: Binge drinking was reported by 61% of the student nurses; 18% reported using marijuana; 5% reported using illegal drugs, excluding marijuana; 8% reported using non-prescribed stimulants to enhance academic performance; and 10% reported using non-prescribed prescription pills. Students with higher stress scores had a higher incidence of substance use. Most participants reported moderate faculty support. Those who had higher perceptions of faculty support tended to use fewer non-prescribed stimulants for academic enhancement. The hypothesized interaction was non-significant. This model accounted for 1.6% of the variance. Students tended to overestimate their peers’ substance use. Perceived harmfulness of a substance was related to a decrease in binge drinking, marijuana use, illegal drug use, stimulant use for academic enhancement, and non-prescribed prescription drug use. Conclusions: The results suggest that student nurses tend to use fewer drugs than their college counterparts but are slightly more likely to binge drink. Perception of peer use and perceived harmfulness accounted for 30% of the variance. They reported a moderate level of stress and used non-prescribed prescription drugs more as the stress scores increased. Perceived faculty support seems to be inversely related to use of non-prescribed stimulants and does not appear to moderate the effect of stress on substance misuse.

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