Posts in Undergraduate Theses
Sex Differences in Alcohol-Related Consequences Among Undergraduates - Carolyn Gaspar (2015)

Research on alcohol use has examined alcohol-related consequences associated with heavy episodic drinking in undergraduates. This study examined sex differences in alcohol- related consequences. Undergraduates self-reported on positive and negative consequences they experienced during drinking occasions. It was hypothesized that males would experience more positive and negative interpersonal alcohol-related consequences than females, and females would experience more intrapersonal consequences. It was also hypothesized that when alcohol consumption was controlled for, sex differences would be non-significant. The sample consisted of 402 undergraduates with a mean age of 21. Findings indicate that sex is predictive of negative alcohol-related consequences. Both males and females experienced more positive alcohol- related consequences than negative consequences. The results of this study may assist future strategies aimed at interventions related to heavy episodic drinking. Interventions can be based on sex differences in alcohol-related consequences.

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Depressive Symptoms and Consequences of Alcohol Use in Undergraduates - Amy Killen (2015)

This study investigated the association between depressive symptoms in relation to positive and negative consequences of alcohol use. It was hypothesized that positive and negative consequences of alcohol use would positively correlate with depressive symptoms. The sample consisted of 402 undergraduate students (76.1% female), with an average age of 21 years. Depressive symptoms were positively correlated with positive and negative consequences of alcohol use. Feelings of sadness (dysphoria), lack of interest (anhedonia), changes in appetite, sleep disturbances (insomnia/ hypersomnia), difficulty thinking/concentrating, feelings of guilt (worthlessness), excessive tiredness (fatigue), movement changes (psychomotor agitation/ retardation), and suicidal ideation, predicted negative consequences of alcohol use. Depressive symptoms predicted positive consequences of alcohol use. Suicidal ideation was found to not be a predictor of positive consequences. Positive and negative consequences of alcohol use predicted depressive symptoms, with the exception of positive consequences predicting suicidal ideation. Age resulted a negative relationship with changes in appetite and positive consequences of alcohol use. The results from this have implications for alcohol prevention and early intervention programs directed towards depressive symptoms and the consequences of alcohol use.

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The Relationship Between Motives and Peer Drinking Norms in Undergraduates - Kim Ongaro (2014)

This study investigated the relationship between motives for drinking (i.e., enhancement, social, coping-anxiety, coping-depression, and conformity) and perceived peer drinking norms (i.e., descriptive and injunctive) in undergraduate students. It was hypothesized that social, enhancement, and coping-anxiety motives would have a significant positive relationship with both descriptive and injunctive norms, while conformity would have a significant positive relationship with descriptive norms, but not injunctive norms. The sample consisted of 196 undergraduate students (84% female, mean age = 21.6 years) from Lakehead University. Social and enhancement motives were found to have a significant positive relationship with both descriptive and injunctive norms. Coping-anxiety was significantly related to descriptive and injunctive norms. Conformity and coping-depression did not have a significant relationship with either type of norm. These findings suggest that peer-drinking norms are differentially related to motives for alcohol use and may provide an area for exploration of intervention strategies.

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Personality, Alcohol Use, and Pregaming Behaviour Among Undergraduates - Allie Popowich (2014)

The current study examines four personality traits, impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness, and anxiety sensitivity, as predictive factors of pregaming as well as the relationship with heavy episodic drinking and alcohol related consequences. It was hypothesized that sensation seeking, impulsivity, hopelessness, and anxiety sensitivity will be related to higher levels of pregaming, and that pregaming would be associated with higher levels of heavy episodic drinking and increased alcohol related consequences. The sample consisted of 196 undergraduate students (84.7% female), with an average age of 22. Impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness, and anxiety sensitivity were not found to be predictors of pregaming behaviour. Pregaming was found to predict higher levels of heavy episodic drinking, as well as increased alcohol related consequences. The results from this study have the potential to inform intervention strategies tailored to drinking behaviour at the pregaming level in order to reduce heavy episodic drinking and alcohol related consequences.

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Personality and Alcohol, Marijuana, and Simultaneous Polydrug Use in Undergraduate Students - Rebecca Scott (2014)

This study examined the association between personality traits (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, sensation seeking, and impulsivity), drug use (i.e., alcohol, marijuana, and simultaneous polydrug use), and drug-related consequences in undergraduate students (e.g., academic impairment, being involved in a motor vehicle accident, and interpersonal problems). It was hypothesized that individuals who engage in simultaneous polydrug use (using alcohol and marijuana in close proximity) would have higher levels of sensation seeking and impulsivity compared to individuals who use one substance, and that simultaneous polydrug users would experience more drug-related consequences compared to individuals who use one substance. The sample consisted of 196 undergraduate students (166 females), with a mean age of 21.61 years (SD = 4.96), and the mean university level being 3rd year. Sensation seeking and impulsivity were found to significantly predict heavy episodic drinking. Sensation seeking and impulsivity were not found to have a significant relationship with polydrug or marijuana use. Within the past three years, alcohol-related consequences were significantly higher than polydrug-related consequences; marijuana-related consequences were significantly lower than alcohol-related consequences, and polydrug-related consequences were significantly lower than marijuana- related consequences. Within the past seven days, alcohol-related consequences were not significantly higher than marijuana-related consequences, alcohol-related consequences were significantly higher than polydrug-related consequences, and marijuana-related consequences were not significantly higher than polydrug-related consequences. The results from this study have the potential for substance use prevention and early intervention programs that address specific personality and drug use patterns, to be made.

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Social Determinants of Community Wellbeing in Ontario First Nations Communities - Turina Bruyere (2013)

The community wellbeing (CWB) of Ontario First Nations communities is below that of their Ontario non-First Nations counterparts (Moazzami, 2011). Wellbeing is a state of welfare that exists on social, emotional, psychological, physical, environmental, and spiritual dimensions (Chretien, 2010). This study evaluated the association between social determinants and CWB scores in 99 Ontario First Nations communities. Social determinants include factors such as safe and affordable housing, education attainment, labour, and employment. Specifically, this study had focused on the social determinants surrounding education and housing. Regression analyses had demonstrated that social determinants (i.e., possession of a high school diploma, possession of a university degree, school located within the community, and labour force participation) had predicted CWB in Ontario First Nations communities. In addition, regression analyses had demonstrated that geographic zone and multi-family households had predicted a decrease in CWB in Ontario First Nations communities. Results of one hierarchical regression analysis had indicated that, when controlling for schools located within the community, geographic zone decreased CWB. These findings are important for decision makers of policy and funding, as they suggest specific social determinants which have an effect on community wellbeing.

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Influence of Motives and Personality on Protective Behavioural Strategies and Heavy Episodic Drinking in Undergraduate Students - Bethany Cain (2013)

The association between drinking motives and personality with protective behavioural strategies (PBS) was explored, including whether individuals with different drinking motives or personality profiles were more or less likely to utilize protective behavioural strategies. The final sample consisted of 137 undergraduate students (81% females, M = 22.15 years old, SD = 2.76). Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine how protective behavioural strategies are associated with motives for alcohol use and with personality. Individuals who had greater Enhancement and Coping motives for drinking used protective strategies less frequently. Social motives were not significantly correlated with the mean of protective factors, but were associated with less frequent use of strategies related to reducing risky drinking patterns (Manner of Drinking subscale). Similarly Enhancement and both Coping motives also predicted lower levels of strategies within the Manner of Drinking subscale. Additionally, Coping Depression was related to less PBS use as it relates to limiting the serious harms associated with drinking (Serious Harm Reduction subscale). Conformity did not significantly predict an increase or decrease in PBS use within any of the subscales. No personality profiles significantly predicted overall PBS use. Impulsivity significantly predicted a decrease in Serious Harm Reduction strategies, while Sensation Seeking predicted less Manner of Drinking strategies. Anxiety Sensitivity was unique in that it significantly predicted an increase in Stopping/Limiting Drinking behaviours. Finally, Hopelessness was not related to any PBS subscales. These findings are significant as they may assist in understanding undergraduates at greatest risk of negative alcohol-related consequences and inform protective behavioural strategies-based interventions tailored to personality traits and motives for drinking.

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Athletic Participation and Heavy Episodic Drinking among Canadian Undergraduates - Daphne Haggarty (2013)

While physical activity generally promotes health and well-being (WHO, 2010), competitive athletes at the varsity level have been shown to engage in heavy episodic drinking more frequently than non-athletes (defined as 4 or more drinks for women, or 5 drinks or more for men, on one occasion; Leichliter, Meilman, Presley, & Cashin, 1998). This study examined relations between heavy episodic drinking and athletic participation in the context of individual personality (i.e. sensation seeking, impulsivity, anxiety sensitivity, and hopelessness) and motivational variables (i.e. enhancement, coping-depression, coping-anxiety, conformity, and social). Athletic participation was measured according to level of competition (varsity or intramural), type of sport (team or individual), and general physical activity level. Cross- sectional data from 137 undergraduate student participants was analyzed. Hierarchical regression revealed that varsity and intramural status predicted heavy episodic drinking frequency even after controlling for personality and motives for alcohol use. While physical activity was not associated with heavy episodic drinking frequency, vigorous minutes per week significantly predicted average number of drinks typically consumed, and also explained a significant portion of the variance. For every 100 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, half an alcohol beverage was typically consumed. The results of this study may assist future strategies aimed to enhance student health, particularly for those student-athletes at risk of engaging in heavy episodic drinking.

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Personality Factors and Motives Related to Marijuana Use in Undergraduate Students - Nicole Poirier (2013)

This study investigated the association between personality traits (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, sensation seeking, impulsivity, and hopelessness) and motives for marijuana use (i.e., enhancement of positive affect, expansion of experiential awareness, coping, social conformity, and social cohesion) in undergraduate students. It was hypothesized that anxiety sensitivity would predict coping, conformity, and social cohesion motivated use, that hopelessness would predict coping and conformity motivated use, and that impulsivity and sensation seeking would predict enhancement, expansion, and social cohesion motivated use. The sample consisted of 137 undergraduate students (110 female), with an average age of 22 years old. Anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness were found to predict coping, social cohesion, expansion, and enhancement motivated use, impulsivity was found to predict enhancement motivated use, and sensation seeking was found to predict enhancement, expansion, and social cohesion motivated use. These findings allow implications for substance use prevention and early intervention programs that address specific personality-motive patterns, to be made.

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Motives for Smoking: Who Smokes and Why? How Personality and Motivational Variables Influence Smoking Behaviours - Sara Lynn Prouty (2012)

Many smokers express a desire to quit but have difficulty doing so even with cessation aides. In order to understand why some smokers have difficulty quitting, it is important to understand why they smoke. The Wisconsin Inventory of Smoking Dependence Motives (WISDM; Piper et al., 2004) proposes thirteen different motives for smoking. These motives were compared with four personality variables consistently demonstrated to be correlated with substance use; anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. The Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS; Woicik et al., 2009) was used to assess these personality variables. Motives for smoking were also assessed with the Reasons for Smoking Scale (RSS; Russel, Peto, & Patel, 1974) and personality variables were corroborated with well-established personality measures, the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI; Taylor, & Cox, 1998), the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD; Radloff, 1977), the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS-V; Zuckerman, 1994), and the Impulsivity, Venturesomeness, and Empathy Inventory (IV-I7; Eynseck & Eynseck, 1978). It was found that sex was related to weight control motives, anxiety sensitivity scores, and dependence. Anxiety sensitivity scores predicted cognitive enhancement and negative reinforcement motives. CESD scores predicted negative affect and negative reinforcement motives. Sensation seeking scores predicted behavioural choice-melioration and negative affect motives, and impulsivity scores predicted behavioural choice-melioration and loss of control motives.

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