Prevalence of risky behaviors and relationship of risky behaviors with substance use among university students
Demet Havaceligi Atlam, Ebru Aldemir, A. Ender Altintoprak
Article No: 2   Article Type :  Research
Objective: This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of risky behaviors, frequently encountered in young adulthood, and the relationship between such behaviors and substance use in the university population.

Method: This cross sectional, web-based, self-report study was carried out in a state university with 53,003 students. The power analysis was conducted according to the lowest prevalence (0.01%-0.6%) of substance use in universities in Turkey. A sample of 3,184 people was found to be sufficient for the research. The data of 2,973 individuals who completed the Addiction Profile Index was evaluated. Frequency tests, Pearson chi-square and logistic regression were used in the statistical analysis.

Results: As participants 1,629 (54.8%) females and 1,344 (45.2%) males were included in the study. Suicidal plans or attempts and self-harming behaviors were significantly more prevalent among female students; carrying a weapon (penknife/knife/gun), engaging in physical fights, sustaining injuries in physical fights, early sexual relation experiences, condom usage, cigarette, alcohol, energy drink and substance consumption were significantly more prevalent among male students (p<0.001). Frequent suicidal plans or attempts (11.3 times) and early sexual experiences, before the age of 15 (16.6 times) were found to be riskier behaviors with regard to substance use; as the consumption of cigarettes, alcohol and energy drink increased, so did the risk of substance use.

Conclusion: Gender is a distinctive characteristic with regard to risky behaviors among young people. The relationship between risky behaviors and substance use suggests that one risky behavior may lead to another. As such, it is necessary to evaluate the substance use among young people with risky behaviors and to examine other risky behaviors which accompany the substance use problems.
Keywords : Risk-taking, substance abuse, university students
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2017;30:287-298
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