Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research

Faculty Sponsor

Katherine Novak


Previous research has found that prescription stimulant use on college campuses has increased in recent years although estimates of the actual amount of stimulant use vary. Studies have also found that the motives for stimulant abuse vary with some individuals indicating they use prescription stimulants for academic purposes while others use them for recreational purposes. Today, the student role includes academic, organizational involvement, and social expectations. Students, who have difficulty meeting the multiple obligations placed upon them by the student role are said to be experiencing role strain. One type of role strain is role overload, which occurs when people feel that they do not have the time or emotional capability to adequately fulfill their role. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between role overload and prescription stimulant use among Butler students. Data was collected using a survey administered to 175 students. Role overload was measured using an adapted version of an index created by Reilly (1982) to measure role overload among working mothers. Prescription stimulant use was measured by asking respondents whether or not they used certain prescription stimulants. Respondents were also asked about their frequency of use, motives for use, and how they acquired prescription stimulants. Results indicated that 21.7% of the respondents had used prescription stimulants in the past. The most common motivations for use were improved attention/concentration and improved study habits. While no significant relationship between role overload and stimulant drug use was found, prescription stimulant users experiencing role overload were more likely indicate that their use was motivated by the desire to get higher grades.

submissionletter.doc (26 kB)
Affirmation of original work letter

Cooktablespublish 6-28 revised.pdf (268 kB)
Data tables