Substances as Self-Treatment for Cognitive Test Anxiety among Undergraduate Students

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This research investigates associations between cognitive test anxiety (CTA) and use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and medical and non-medical prescription stimulants (MNPS) among undergraduate students in Israel. A structured, self-report, anonymous questionnaire was distributed to 814 undergraduate students in Israel. According to the test anxiety questionnaire, 16.6% of participants were found to experience CTA. CTA was higher among users of MNPS than among students who did not use MNPS. Students with CTA were 2.21 times more likely to engage in use of MNPS than students who did not have CTA (OR 2.21, 95% CI: 1.50–3.26; P < 0.001). A significant association was found between CTA and use of MNPS among the entire sample and among non-medical use of prescription stimulants (NPS). In addition, a significant negative correlation was found between CTA and attitudes toward cannabis and MNPS, such that students with higher CTA had more positive attitudes towards MNPS. A logistic regression model was found to be significant, predicting about 24.7% of the variance in MNPS use. Counseling services for students should be focused on consulting and treatment programs for students with CTA. In addition, preventive educational programs should be formed to target substance habits, especially NPS use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Cognitive test anxiety
  • Israel
  • Ritalin
  • non-prescription stimulants
  • substance use
  • undergraduate students


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