Event Title

The Effect of Academic Circumstance on Substance Use and Exercise

Poster Number

48

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

24-4-2015 3:20 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 4:50 PM

Description

The present study evaluated academic circumstance as a predictor of exercise and substance use as it is related to grade point average (GPA). Herrman, Schuckit, Hineman, and Pugh (1976) observed the effects of stress on drug use and GPA. They found that marijuana users reported the highest GPA, followed by non-users, and then multiple drug users, who reported the lowest GPA. Their research indicated that the situation in which drugs are used affects people differently, which led the researchers to suggest that drugs can either help or hinder academic performance based on the circumstance surrounding the use of the drug(s). The present study examined Herman et al.’s conjecture that the circumstance was related to drug use by not only collecting data on college students' GPAs in relation to substance use and exercise, but also by assessing subjects for the academic circumstances in which they exhibited these health factor behaviors. The academic circumstances were defined as 24 hours before/after a test and 6 hours before/during/after studying. Surveys were handed out to 136 Winthrop University students. The hypothesis was not supported and student use of drugs and exercise was not related to GPA. However, the correlation between a health factor in one academic circumstance and the academic circumstances across each health factor was significant. Our results suggest that college students do not use substances and exercise strategically in respect of academic circumstance to enhance academic performance. The results imply that dispositional variables, such as addiction or dispositional mindfulness, drive these health behaviors.

Comments

Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, March 2015

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Apr 24th, 3:20 PM Apr 24th, 4:50 PM

The Effect of Academic Circumstance on Substance Use and Exercise

Richardson Ballroom

The present study evaluated academic circumstance as a predictor of exercise and substance use as it is related to grade point average (GPA). Herrman, Schuckit, Hineman, and Pugh (1976) observed the effects of stress on drug use and GPA. They found that marijuana users reported the highest GPA, followed by non-users, and then multiple drug users, who reported the lowest GPA. Their research indicated that the situation in which drugs are used affects people differently, which led the researchers to suggest that drugs can either help or hinder academic performance based on the circumstance surrounding the use of the drug(s). The present study examined Herman et al.’s conjecture that the circumstance was related to drug use by not only collecting data on college students' GPAs in relation to substance use and exercise, but also by assessing subjects for the academic circumstances in which they exhibited these health factor behaviors. The academic circumstances were defined as 24 hours before/after a test and 6 hours before/during/after studying. Surveys were handed out to 136 Winthrop University students. The hypothesis was not supported and student use of drugs and exercise was not related to GPA. However, the correlation between a health factor in one academic circumstance and the academic circumstances across each health factor was significant. Our results suggest that college students do not use substances and exercise strategically in respect of academic circumstance to enhance academic performance. The results imply that dispositional variables, such as addiction or dispositional mindfulness, drive these health behaviors.