Examination of the Relationships Between the Dimensions of Self-Perception and Non- Prescribed Ritalin Use in Teens
Lamkin, Mindy Lee
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Due to an increase in diagnosis and prescription of methylphenidate and other ADD/ADHD medications, concerns have been expressed over the rise in Ritalin diversion from prescription to nonmedical use. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between the dimensions of self-perception (i.e., Impulse Control, Body Image, Mastery of the External World, Worry Control) self-enhancement, environmental and demographic factors, and non-prescribed Ritalin (methylphenidate) use. This cross sectional study draws on secondary data from the Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors Survey (AHRBS). The secondary data from AHRBS were analyzed using a sample size of n=1992 and a sub-sample size of n=79. Subjects completed questions pertaining to the dimensions of self-perception, self-enhancement, and demographic factors. The results of this study reveal that females who have worse Body Image, and compare their exams to their previous exams are on average more likely to use non-prescribed Ritalin. As a result, researchers in this area may want to focus on self-perception and self-enhancement in order to better understand illicit drug use. Future research should explore the difference between experimentation vs. regular users and how to incorporate this into effective and efficient drug prevention programs.