Influence of drug consumption and gender on the psychological health of adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ede


Price: 2000 Naira (BSC, MSC)


The study examines the influence of drug consumption on psychological health among secondary school adolescent in Ede Osun-State. The main objectives are to examine how drug use and gender influences psychological health among secondary school adolescent. The study employs a descriptive survey methodology in gathering data from the target population which comprises of four hundred and Ninety-six (496) who were purposively selected from five secondary schools in. Three psychological scales were used to gather data from the respondent namely; SAPI, AUDIT and API. The data gathered from the respondents were analysed with both descriptive and inferential statistics. Four hypotheses were tested using a regression analysis, Pearson product moment correlation and independent sample t-test and at 0.05% level of significant. The findings from the first hypothesis shows that drug consumption jointly and significantly predict psychological health {F(3, 193)=3.283, p<0.05,R²=.049). The findings from the second hypothesis shows that gender has no significant influence on psychopathology (t(194)=-1.75, p>0.05). The third hypothesis findings shows that there is no significant relationship between age and psychological health among adolescents {r (194) =-0.104, p>0.05}. The fourth hypothesis findings shows that there is significant difference between adolescents drug users and non-user on their level of psychological health t(324.30)= -7.662, p<0.05). The findings indicate that drugs consumption significantly predict vulnerability to psychological health. The study recommends that appropriate intervention policy should be established to eradicate drug abuse among adolescents.



1.1. Background to the Study
In recent years researchers in the field of behavioral sciences have shown interest on the construct of psychological health. (Katz, 2016). The importance of individual state of mind in ensuring their maximum function in daily life cannot be over-emphasized. Mental health of an adolescence go a long way in determining the kind of interpersonal relationship they will develop with peers as well as their level of academic performance. Ability to function and healthy state of psychological wellbeing may serve as an avenue for adolescents to pursue their goals and dreams. Adolescence is a period of development in which their mental wellness is very crucial to the kind of decision they make concerning their future level aspiration. Based on the importance of this concept, it is necessary to examine the nature of adolescent psychological health.
The term psychological health is often used interchangeably with mental health. Psychological health can be conceptualized as a state of mind of someone who functions at maximum level in term of both emotional and behavioural adjustment (Steinberg (2011). It is a state of mind which is free from mental disorder. Psychological health is achieved when an adolescents mind is free from stress, concentrate in class, enjoy life and achieve high level of psychological resilience. According to World Health Organization (WHO, 2001), psychological or mental health include but limited to subjective wellbeing, perceived high level of self-efficacy, autonomy, competence and self-actualization. Adolescents who possess healthy psychological state of mind are happy, have high resilience and possess high intellects (WHO, 2014). In addition, individual wellbeing is a crucial factor which prepared individual with skills and strategies to cope with stress and hassle of life; therefore healthy psychological state of mind equipped individual with skills to be a successful in life. Meanwhile adolescent period is a development period in which there is transition from childhood to adulthood. This stage of human development has been labeled by many researchers as a delicate period in which most adolescents engage in risk related behaviors that may have detrimental effect on their future (Smith and Handler, 2012). Adolescence is simply a transitional stage of psychological and physical development which occurs from puberty to adulthood. During this period individual are able to think abstractly and reason widely. Smith and Handler (2012) noted that the development in cognitive ability prepares adolescents for future and go a long way in influencing their personality formation. In this period, interaction shift from that of family to association with friends or peers.
One interesting aspect of adolescent behavior that is relevant to this study is their risk taking behavior. Adolescents due to the fact that they are not relate with peers, they are highly vulnerable to risk taking. When it comes to evaluation of the outcome of a behavior, Steinberg (2011) noted that even though evaluation of reward and consequences of an action in similar manner, however, adolescents are more likely to underestimate the health implication of their actions and over- estimate the reward. Johnson, Xiao, Palmer, Sun, Want, Wei, et,al. (2008) suggest that adolescents tends to have high level of arousal, therefore they are sensation seekers who can engage in any risk behaviors without appropriately evaluating the consequences of such actions. Such may include but not limited to having unprotected sex, using poor birth control method, multiple sex partners, anal sex, poor diet and more importantly substance abuse (e.g alcohol abuse, cigarette and marijuana smoking) (National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA, 2012). According to WHO (2016), substance abuse or drug abuse can be defined as “harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances which include alcohol and illicit drugs”. WHO (2016) further reiterated that the use of psychoactive substances by adolescent have various health implication and using these drugs can also lead to dependence syndrome. Dependence syndrome of drugs abuse is so bad that it can lead to strong willingness to abuse drug, unable to control its consumption despites its health consequences (WHO, 2016). Abuse of psychoactive substances among secondary school adolescents is a big problem globally as its prevalence is getting higher in every day. Looking at its prevalence in western world like United State (US), it is observed that use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana use has been widely increased among adolescents.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA, 2012) in their recent study on the prevalence of drug abuse among adolescents in US, the data was gather between period of 2007 and 2011, their findings shows that the use of marijuana increases from 5.7% to 7.2% among grade 8th students and among grade 10 students its prevalence increases from 14.2% to 17.6% and also grows from 18.8% t0 22.6% among grade 12 students. For alcohol use, NIDA (2012) results suggest that 4.4% of grades 8 are drunker, while 13.7% and 25% of 10th and 12th grades students have taken alcohol in previous month. Recent statistics suggest that drug abuse is gaining popularity among Nigerian in-school adolescents; this population is the future of tomorrow and prevalence of substance use will hampered their ability to provide better future for themselves (Fawigbe and Shittu, 2011). Atoyebi and Atoyebi (2013) report in their study that there is high prevalence of alcohol abuse among secondary school students. Their findings indicate that about 52.1% of their study participants are alcohol consumers. Their findings suggest that the prevalence of alcohol use among secondary school adolescent is a serious issue. In addition to this, the study by Fawigbe and Shittu (2011) among total participant of 1754, (65.5% male and 34.5 % female), the findings shows that 5.7% of total participants are cigarette smokers. According to WHO (2002), tobacco smoking has been identified as a major preventable risk factor for diseases, disability and death. Cigarette smoking according Centre for Disease prevention and Control (CDC, 2012) have various health consequences, cigarette contain one of the most additive chemical substances called TAR. The smoker may develop lung cancer, eye problem and inability to be sexually active. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA,2000), abuse of psychoactive drugs like alcohol lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, liver cirrhosis, learning problems, loss of memory, depression and anxiety.
Drug abuse may be related to psychological health. Adolescents who are highly dependent on alcohols or cigarettes or any other drug abuse may experience impairment in their mental health or wellbeing. Drug abuse predisposes people to various health related problems as mentions above; these problems may include both psychological and physical problems.
Adolescents who are drug addicts are more likely to experience depression, low academic performance, low cognitive function and problems solving when compare to their counterpart who are non-drugs users. NIAAA (2000) reports that adolescents who are drug-users tends to experience impairment in their mental health, in other words they tends to have significant higher level of psychological difficulties when compare to those who are not inclined to use of drugs.
1.2 Statement of Problem
High prevalence of substance abuse among in-school adolescents is a serious problem in our society. Adolescents are the leader of tomorrow; involvement in drugs use at this level of their life will not only predisposes them to health related problems but will also have detrimental effect on their future possible achievement. Abuse of psychoactive substances tends to impair adolescents memory and their ability to retain learning material in class; this will in turn affect their overall academic achievement. NIAAA (2000) suggests that drug use impair individual psychological health by predisposing the user to mental disorder such as depression and anxiety. Adolescents as suggested above is a period of human development where experimentation of various forms of health compromising behaviors is the order of the day. Adolescents tends to believe that they are young, therefore they can be invulnerable to unfortunate events, based on this orientation they tends to have positive outcome of their activities and care less about the negative effects. Adolescent’s stage is a very important phase of human development as peer decision tends to override that of parents; this occurs because inability to go along with peer actions can result in social rejection and feelings of isolation.
Looking at the literature, the concept of psychological health has been widely examined. However, research on the relationship between substance abuse and psychological health among in-school adolescents in Ede Osun-State is very scarce. This present study aimed at adding to existing literature and improves the body of knowledge on the relationship between substance or drug abuse on psychological health among secondary school adolescents in Ede, Osun-State. Based on this, the present study is aimed at answer the following research questions;
1.3 Research questions
i. Is there a relationship between drug consumption and psychological health among secondary school adolescents?
ii. Is there gender influence on psychological health among secondary school adolescents?
iii. What is the relationship between age and psychological health among secondary school adolescents?
iv. Is there significant difference on psychological health between adolescents drug users and non-users among secondary school adolescents?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of the study are to examine the relationship between drug abuse and psychological health among secondary school adolescents Ede. The specifics are the following
i- To analyze the relationship between drug consumption and psychological health among secondary school adolescents.
ii- To determine the influence of gender on psychological health among secondary school adolescents
iii- To examine the difference between age and psychological health among secondary school adolescents.
iv- To analyse the significant difference between adolescents drug users and non-users on psychological health.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will provide people, researchers, stakeholders and health practitioners with empirical data which will highlight the pattern of the relationship between drug abuse and psychological health of in-school adolescents. The data provided in this study will be useful for government, psychologist and stakeholders in making crucial decision on how the prevalence of substance abuse can be minimized among adolescents population. Apart from the empirical benefit of this study in term of its practical application, it will also provide theoretical benefit by improving the existing literature on the relationship between the variables under investigation.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The objective of the study is to examine the relationship between drug abuse and psychological health. This study has purposively selected secondary school adolescent in Ede, Osun-State. In selecting respondent from the study population, convenient sampling techniques was employed in this study. The data collection techniques was involve the use of questionnaire in collecting data on the variables under-investigation. Three independent variables are in this study namely: substance abuse, parental socioeconomic status and gender while the dependent variable is psychological health which was be operationalized using Awaritefe Psychological Index (API).
1.7 Operational Definition of Variables
i- Psychological Health: This can be defined as a state of mental and subjective wellbeing. This is a dependent variable in this study which and was be defined as a state of mind in which there is absence of mental disorder. It was measured by adopting a standardized questionnaire developed by Akinnawo (2011) (A revised verison of Awaritefe 1982, Psychological index). The scales are design in 0-2 likert scale format. Items scoring involve summation of respondent scores on each items to arrive at composites scores. The higher the scores, the higher the level of psychopathology; therefore lower scores indicates higher level of psychological health and higher scores suggest lower level of psychological health.
ii- Substance Abuse: This can be defined as continuous use of illicit drugs in spites of its health and social implications. This is the first independent variable in this study. It was defined in this study as the frequency and quantity of substance use as measure by substance abuse scale developed by …….. The scale are designed in likert response format. The scoring involve summation of respondent scores on each items to arrive at their level of substance use, the higher the score the higher the degree of drug abuse.
iii- Gender: this can be described as the emotional and psychological characteristics of being male or female. It was measured by using self-designed items in section a of the research instrument. Respondent are expected to indicate their sex.
iv- Parental Socioeconomic Status: this can be defined as the level of respondent’s parent financial buoyancy. It is the third independent variable in this study and was measured in section A of the research instrument. Respondents indicate whether they are from low, moderate or high socioeconomic background.
1.8 Study Limitation
One of the limitations of the findings of this study was in terms of the ability to generalize the findings to population other than which sample were selected. The sample size were small therefore, the findings of this study was applicable to adolescent in secondary school Ede. Therefore attempt to generalize the findings to other population may not be relevant.

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