restricted access Academic Performance Enhancement: A Qualitative Study of the Perceptions and Habits of Prescription Stimulant–Using College Students

This study explores the developmental implications of cognitive enhancement among college students. Data comes from interviews with a purposive sample of licit and illicit users of stimulant medications at a highly selective West Coast University. A semistructured protocol revolved around students’ habits and perceptions relating to stimulant medication use. Key findings identify academic use justifications, diversion pathways, and frames use within a biopsychosocial development model that impacts perceived self-efficacy, suggesting that academic dependence may develop differently between licit/ illicit users.