The Relationship between Substance Use, Strain, and Depression among College Students
Keywords:Depression, Substance Use, General Strain Theory, College Students
This project examined the relationship between substance use and depression using General Strain Theory as a theoretical foundation. The relationship between strain, depression, and substance use has yet to be rigorously established in the literature. The goal of this project was to determine whether depression serves as a mediator between the sociological concept of strain and substance use. The hypothesis for this project was that strain would have a positive effect upon depression and substance use, and depression will act as a mediator between strain and substance use. 832 college students between the ages of 18-25 filled out an anonymous online survey containing questions from the Beck Depression Inventory, the Drug Use Screening Inventory Revised, and the Drug Abuse Screening Test. Demographic data was also collected and served as the control variables for the analysis. Data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 25. Pearson correlation tests and multiple linear regression analyses were carried out on explanatory and control variables. The statistical findings of this project signify that depression acted as a mediator between strain and substance use. Comparison of findings to past studies and avenues of future research will be discussed.
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