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Application of vested interest theory to prevention of prescription drug and marijuana use

Vested interest is the perceived importance and relevance of the outcome of an action. Vested interest theory was developed to help understand the influence of vested interest on behavior consistency. A recent study applied this concept to drug use prevention among college students in the United States.

A sample of students completed an online survey, reporting their nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and marijuana use, as well as their attitudes on drug use. The sample that was used to measure vested interest and attitudes towards drug use were students who were nonusers. The results showed that students with higher vested interest also had more favorable attitudes towards nonmedical use of prescription stimulants. This outcome was also applicable to attitudes towards marijuana.

Overall, students who deemed substance use more hedonically relevant were more likely to intend to use prescription stimulants and/or marijuana and had more positive attitudes towards drug use. This knowledge can be useful in prevention efforts to target students with higher vested interest.

Take Away: Students who exhibited higher vested interest towards stimulant and marijuana use were more likely to intend to use these substances.

Tags: marijuana, vested interest theory, prescription misuse, college

Siegel, J.T., Donaldson, C., Crano, W.D. Application of vested interest theory to prevention of non-medical prescription stimulant and marijuana use: Unforeseen benefits of attitude-behavior inconsistency. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.10.007

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