Abstract Title

Do Stressful Life Events Impact Analytical Thinking and Acceptance of Drug Use?

Abstract

Most people experience stressful events in their lives, such as accidents, assault or life-threatening illness. This study assesses relations between stressful life events, analytical thinking (i.e., in-depth processing of information), and beliefs about whether substance use is acceptable, including both legal (e.g., alcohol) and illegal (e.g., opiates) substances. Participants were 121 undergraduates (mean age = 22.75; 78% female, 93% Caucasian) who completed online surveys. Preliminary analyses indicated that older participants experienced more stressful life events (r = .34, p = .000); therefore, all analyses controlled for age. Partial correlations indicated that a greater number of stressful events was related to less analytical thinking (r = -.20, p = .029) and more acceptance of substance use (r = .24, p = .009). By contrast, more analytical thinking was related to less acceptance of substance use (r = -.27, p = .003). Taken together, these findings support the notion that stressful life events may have a negative impact on analytical thinking and may lead to increased acceptance of substance use. Increasing individuals’ ability to think analytically may be one way to reduce acceptance of substance use, which in turn, may help reduce the opioid epidemic currently plaguing our society.

Modified Abstract

Most people experience stressful events in their lives. This study assesses relations between stressful life events, analytical thinking (i.e., in-depth processing of information), and beliefs about whether substance use is acceptable. Participants were 121 undergraduates who completed online surveys. Preliminary analyses indicated that older participant’s experienced more stressful life events therefore, all analyses controlled for age. Partial correlations indicated that a greater number of stressful events was related to less analytical thinking and more acceptance of substance use. By contrast, more analytical thinking was related to less acceptance of substance use. These findings support the notion that increasing individuals’ ability to think analytically may be one way to reduce acceptance of substance use, which in turn, may help reduce our country’s current opioid epidemic.

Research Category

Psychology

Primary Author's Major

Psychology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Patricia

Tomich

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

April 2019

Research Area

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

Do Stressful Life Events Impact Analytical Thinking and Acceptance of Drug Use?

Most people experience stressful events in their lives, such as accidents, assault or life-threatening illness. This study assesses relations between stressful life events, analytical thinking (i.e., in-depth processing of information), and beliefs about whether substance use is acceptable, including both legal (e.g., alcohol) and illegal (e.g., opiates) substances. Participants were 121 undergraduates (mean age = 22.75; 78% female, 93% Caucasian) who completed online surveys. Preliminary analyses indicated that older participants experienced more stressful life events (r = .34, p = .000); therefore, all analyses controlled for age. Partial correlations indicated that a greater number of stressful events was related to less analytical thinking (r = -.20, p = .029) and more acceptance of substance use (r = .24, p = .009). By contrast, more analytical thinking was related to less acceptance of substance use (r = -.27, p = .003). Taken together, these findings support the notion that stressful life events may have a negative impact on analytical thinking and may lead to increased acceptance of substance use. Increasing individuals’ ability to think analytically may be one way to reduce acceptance of substance use, which in turn, may help reduce the opioid epidemic currently plaguing our society.