Psychological correlates of substance use among South African university students

Karl Peltzer1, Dorothy Malaka1, Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya2
1University of the North, South Africa
2Border Technikon, South Africa
Cite this article:  Peltzer, K., Malaka, D., & Phaswana-Mafuya, N. (2001). Psychological correlates of substance use among South African university students. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 29(8), 799-806.

Volume 29 Issue 8 | e1137 | Published: December 2001 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2001.29.8.799

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The relationships between substance use and psychological variables among 799 first-year South African university students were investigated. Psychological correlates (in terms of minor psychiatric morbidity, perceived stress, sensation-seeking, self-esteem, subjective health, and anomia) of substance use were found to be associated with the use of specific substances. Sensation-seeking was associated with the use of cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco; minor psychiatric morbidity with cannabis and alcohol use; and anomia with cannabis use. Logistic regression on cannabis use identified male gender and sensation-seeking as independent predictors for current cannabis use.

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