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ISSN: 2375-4494

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
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Research Article

Illness Perceptions of Addiction and Substance Use Patterns among Psychology Students

Astri Parawita Ayu1,2*, Cor AJ De Jong2, Lucas Pinxten2 and Arnt FA Schellekens1,3

1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, School of Medicine Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

2Nijmegen Institute for Scientist Practitioners in Addiction (NISPA), Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

3Department of Psychiatry, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

*Corresponding Author:
Astri Parawita Ayu
Radboud University/ACSW NISPA Postbus
6909, 6503 GK Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 24 3611150
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: February 10, 2016; Accepted Date: February 22, 2016; Published Date: February 26, 2016

Citation: Ayu AP, De Jong CAJ,Pinxten L, Schellekens AFA (2016) Illness Perceptions of Addiction and Substance Use Patterns among Psychology Students. J Child Adolesc Behav 4:279. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000279

Copyright: © 2016 Ayu AP, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: Negative attitudes towards patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) are common among psychologists. Perceptions of addiction might affect professionals’ attitudes towards patients. Personal substance use is associated with perceptions.

Objective: To explore perceptions of addiction among psychology students in relation with their substances use.

Methods: Third-year psychology students (N=306) participated in this cross-sectional survey. The IPQ-A was used to evaluate perceptions of addiction. Substance use was self-reported with a standardized questionnaire. Differences in perceptions were analysed between students who use substances and do not use. Correlation between perceptions and substance use was explored.

Results: The commonly used substances were alcohol (89%), nicotine (21%) and cannabis (11%). Students who use substances perceived addiction as more controllable (p=0.03) and understandable (p=<0.01). Nicotine use correlated with the perception that addiction is understandable.

Conclusions: Substance use is common among psychology students and that they perceive addiction as a condition with severe consequences and as emotionally stressful. The use of psychoactive substances was associated with the perceptions that addiction is controllable and understandable. Future studies need to explore how training can influence illness perceptions and how substance use among these students relates to their future attitude towards patients with SUD/addiction.


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