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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17

Risk factors for addiction potential among college students

1 Department of Public Health, School of Health, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Health Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Public Health, Saveh University of Medical Sciences, Saveh, Iran
3 Department of Public Health, School of Health, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

Date of Submission29-Dec-2016
Date of Acceptance08-May-2017
Date of Web Publication08-Feb-2018

Correspondence Address:
Mehdi Ranjbaran
Department of Public Health, School of Health, Golestan Street, Daneshgah Avenue, Arak
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_403_16

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Background: Tendency toward addiction is provided before drug use begins. The present study aimed to identify the risk factors for addiction potential in the students of Arak University of Medical Sciences. Methods: We conducted this cross-sectional study among 305 students from Arak University of Medical Sciences, Iran in 2016. We selected the students by stratified random sampling and collected the data by family and sociodemographic factors questionnaires and Addiction Potential Scale. Results: Male students, students with low economic status and high family members were more prone to addiction. We identified variable; addiction in close friends, adverse family conditions (dispute with the family), poor economic condition of families, and family size by controlling the effect of other variables, as risk factors for addiction potential. Conclusions: Preventive and intervention actions appear necessary considering the mentioned factors.

Keywords: Addiction potential, Iran, students

How to cite this article:
Ranjbaran M, Mohammadshahi F, Mani S, Karimy M. Risk factors for addiction potential among college students. Int J Prev Med 2018;9:17

How to cite this URL:
Ranjbaran M, Mohammadshahi F, Mani S, Karimy M. Risk factors for addiction potential among college students. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Aug 1];9:17. Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2018/9/1/17/225042

  Introduction Top

Drug addiction or substance dependence is “a chronic, relapsing disorder in which compulsive drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior persist despite serious negative consequences.”[1] In addition to the physical and psychological complications, substance dependency can increase morbidity and mortality rate.[2],[3] Addiction potential is defined as; “beliefs and attitudes toward drug use and perception of related consequences as either negative or positive.”[4] Adolescents and young people including college students are more vulnerable for mental health problems, especially drug addiction.[5],[6] According to the latest estimates, high prevalence of addiction in young population has been reported.[7],[8] Since the treatment of addiction is often useless and because the tendency toward consumption and context of addiction is provided before drug use begins,[9],[10] therefore, we can identify the risk factors for this tendency and prevent one step earlier. The present study aimed to identify the risk factors for addiction potential in the students of Arak University of Medical Sciences.

  Methods Top

We conducted this cross-sectional study among 305 students from Arak University of Medical Sciences, Markazi Province, Iran in 2016. Markazi Province is located in Western Iran, and its capital is Arak. We considered schools as strata and selected students by simple random sampling in each school. We collected the data by two questionnaires; (1) family and sociodemographic factors questionnaires and (2) Addiction Potential Scale (APS). The APS is a 39 items questionnaires with “Yes” or “No” responses to each question developed by Weed et al.[11] to evaluate addiction potential to alcohol and other drug problems. In this study, we used Persian version of this questionnaires which containing 36 questions, and each question is scored from zero (totally true) to three (completely false); therefore, the range of total score is zero to 108. The validity of the APS has been approved by two methods; criterion and construct validity and its reliability was estimated 0.90 by Cronbach's alpha.[12] We carried out data analysis by the SPSS-20 (IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp) software using Spearman and Pearson correlation, independent t-test, one-way ANOVA and multiple linear regression. For ethical considerations, we obtained oral informed consent from participants and also the research proposal was approved by Deputy of Research and Ethics Committee of Arak University of Medical Sciences white ethics number IR. ARAKMU. REC.1394.378.

  Results Top

We studied 305 students with mean age of 21.91 ± 2.37 years including 196 (64.5%) females and 108 (35.5%) males. The average number of family members was 4.89 ± 1.33 persons. [Table 1] displays participants' demographic and socioeconomic variables. We estimated the average addiction potential score 22.54 ± 16.17 ranged between zero to 90. As shown in [Table 1], based on the results of t-test and one-way ANOVA, mean score of addiction potential in male students significantly was higher than female (P < 0.001). Furthermore, we found that students with low economic status are more prone to addiction (P < 0.001). Also, at the present study, we identify the role of four environmental factors including addiction in close friends, addiction in family members, dispute with the family and divorce or solving problems in family courts in students' tendency toward addiction [Table 1]. The results of Spearman and Pearson correlation revealed positive correlation between number of household members and addiction potential score (r = 0.183, P = 0.002). We did not find significant correlation between age (r = 0.071, P = 0.216) and semester (r = −0.019, P = 0.742) with addiction potential score.
Table 1: Relationship between demographic, socioeconomic characteristics, and some environmental factors with students' addiction potential

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Finally, the variables that had a P ≤ 0.2 in univariate analysis were entered into the multiple linear regression model [Table 2]. Results revealed variables; addiction in close friends, dispute with the family, poor economic status of family and number of household members by controlling the effect of other variables as significant predictors of addiction potential in students (R2 = 0.28, adjusted R2 = 0.26).
Table 2: Multiple regression model for predictors of addiction potential in students

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  Discussion Top

In this study, we identified variables; addiction in close friends, dispute with the family, poor economic status of family and number of household members as risk factors of addiction tendency in students. In our study, drug addiction in close friends was related to more addiction tendency in students. In the study at Urmia University of Medical Sciences, youth participants emphasized the role of peers in substance abuse.[7] This finding has also been confirmed in several other studies.[13],[14],[15] It seems that in addition to inducing role of addicted friends, availability of substance by friends increases the opportunity to facing with substance, tendency, and consumption as well as. In this study, we found that student's dispute with family increases their tendency toward addiction. Shahriari et al. found a significant negative association between family members' emotional relation and tendency to addiction.[16] Zeinali,[10] and Foroutani and Rezaeian [17] identified neglect and lack of parental control as one of the important factors in people tendency to drug abuse. Galea et al. in a review study introduced family adverse conditions as a risk factor for the onset of substance abuse.[18] Warm relations between family members especially with children; increase the possibility of attracting them to the family and reduces the likelihood of escape and refuge to groups of friends or abnormal groups.[16] In the present study, we identified poor economic status and number of household members as other predictive factors of a tendency to addiction. Based on the existing literature, socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with different health outcomes.[19] In several studies, substance abuse was reported more in people with weak socioeconomic classes.[20],[21],[22] Probably, the low economic status or big family size, take entertainment and other appropriate opportunities from people and put him at risk for drug use. In contrast, some studies found the relationship between SES and substance abuse varies according to the type of drug. In a study by Humensky, high SES was associated with a high intake of cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol while such association was not seen with crystal methamphetamine and other substances.[23] In Patrick et al. study,[24] high SES was associated with more consumption of alcohol and marijuana and low SES with higher consumption of cigarettes. The most important limitation of this study was that it only applicable to the college students and we can conduct this study with a wider scope in general population.

  Conclusions Top

Preventive and intervention actions appear necessary considering the mentioned risk factors of a tendency to addiction in students.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the Research Council of Arak University of Medical Sciences (Grant Number: 2537) for financial support and all students that participate in this study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Arak University of Medical Sciences (Grant Number: 2537).

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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Nikmanesh Z, Adrom M, Bakhshani NM. Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory score as a predictor of addiction potential in youth. Int J High Risk Behav Addict 2012;1:22-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
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Raghibi M. Examining high risk behaviors among students of Zahedan Universities. Int J High Risk Behav Addict 2012;1:39-43.  Back to cited text no. 8
Zeinali A, Vahdat R. Addiction susceptibility and adolescents: Evidence for psychosocial development of addiction. Life Sci J 2013;10:118-21.  Back to cited text no. 9
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Weed NC, Butcher JN, McKenna T, Ben-Porath YS. New measures for assessing alcohol and drug abuse with the MMPI-2: The APS and AAS. J Pers Assess 1992;58:389-404.  Back to cited text no. 11
Zargar Y, Najarian B, Naami A. The relationship of some personality variables, religious attitudes and marital satisfaction with addiction potential in personnel of an industrial factory in Ahvaz. J Educ Psychol 2008;15:99-120.  Back to cited text no. 12
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Shahriari S, Dastjerdi R, Hojat Zadeh N, Kikhani R, Ramezani A. Family function on tendency students towards addiction and substance abuse. J Zabol Univ Med Sci Health Serv 2013;5:1-9.  Back to cited text no. 16
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Humensky JL. Are adolescents with high socioeconomic status more likely to engage in alcohol and illicit drug use in early adulthood? Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2010;5:19.  Back to cited text no. 23
Patrick ME, Wightman P, Schoeni RF, Schulenberg JE. Socioeconomic status and substance use among young adults: A comparison across constructs and drugs. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2012;73:772-82.  Back to cited text no. 24


  [Table 1], [Table 2]

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