Date of Award

Fall 1971

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Ivanoff, John

Second Advisor

DeRoche, Edward

Third Advisor

Tagatz, Glenn

Abstract

A sharp upsurge of concern about the abuse of drugs on college campuses has been witnessed throughout the United States within the past few years. Pearlman (1967a) reports that no fewer than 40 colleges and universities have been mentioned in the mass media as involved in arrests of their students for illegal drug use or possession, in "raids" on college dormitories by law-enforcement officers, and in defensive postures with respect to the extent of drug use among their undergraduates. At one time it was openly charged that "some educators refuse to crack down on drug experimentation at their schools (Long Island Press, 1966)." Nevertheless, these same educational administrators and others are deeply concerned with young people and their personal and social growth and development. Because of the Social, scientific, and legal restrictions, identification of the drug user is difficult and subsequently, adequate research on the personality of the drug user and the effects of drugs on the user is scarce. As one counselor remarks, "Informal talks have repeatedly reminded me that the drug-using population is remarkably invisible to college personnel officers and amazingly diverse in the types of students it encompasses (Cohen, 1969a)." Specifically, the problem of the present research is to compare the college student drug user with the non-user as to the amount and type of drug knowledge he possesses and his attitudes concerning drug usage. A drug knowledge inventory and an attitude scale were developed with the hope that some of the items might be useful for the future identification of drug users on college campuses. Several important questions seem pertinent to this research: (1.) Do the background characteristics of college students (sex, age, religious preference, grade point average, home town population, family income, and university size) have significant effects on the frequency levels of marihuana usage? (2.) Do the background characteristics of college students (sex; age, religious preference, grade point average, home town population, family income, and university size) have significant effects on the frequency levels of drug usage (other than marihuana, hashish, alcohol, or a legal prescription drug)? (3.) Are there significant differences between marihuana users and non-users and drug users and non-users concerning general drug knowledge? (4.) Are there significant differences between marihuana users and non-users and drug users and non-users concerning attitudes about drugs?

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