Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Health Services Research

Committee Director

Kimberly Adams Tufts

Committee Member

Daniel Russell

Committee Member

Hoquee Kaprea

Committee Member

Samir Al-Adawi

Abstract

Alcohol and/or substance use among college students is a serious public health issue. In Oman, studies addressing college student’s alcohol and/or substance use are limited. The purpose of this study was to identify knowledge, attitudes, subjective norms, self-efficacy, and perceived behavioral control associated with alcohol and/or substance usage patterns among Omani college students (OCSs); identify behavioral intentions for alcohol and/or substance use among OCSs; and facilitate the development of culturally relevant evidenced-based interventions for Omani young people by communicating study findings to policymakers and healthcare program leaders.

A cross-sectional design used an online survey completed by college students from Oman higher education institutes (HEIs) in academic year 2016-2017.

One hundred and eighty-two males (45.2%) and 224 females (54.8%) reported 30-day prevalence rates of 3.2% and lifetime prevalence rates of 15.9% for alcohol and/or substance use. Attitudes, subjective norms, and self-efficacy significantly predicted OCSs’ alcohol and/or substance use behavioral intentions (p < 0.05). Perceived behavioral control was not a significant predictor. Socio-demographic factors (i.e., age, gender, father’s educational level, family income, college type, region of permanent residence, and religiosity) were significantly associated with and predicted OCSs alcohol and/or substance use behavioral intentions (p < 0.05).

Findings supported attitudes, subjective norms, self-efficacy, and perceived behavioral control as predictors for alcohol and/or substance use behavioral intentions among OCSs. Notably, alcohol and/or substance behavioral use intentions and behaviors of surveyed OCSs were influenced by their attitudes, subjective norms, and self-efficacy rather than by their knowledge of the health consequences. Secondly, OCSs reported a strong self-efficacy in their ability to avoid alcohol and/or substances; however, this did not translate to lower intentions.

Public health professionals, educators, and policymakers should focus on influencing intentions and on strengthening OCSs’ confidence to abstain from alcohol and/or substances. This can be accomplished by incorporating avoidance or refusal training skills into HEIs’ existing evidence-based interventions for alcohol and/or substance use for OCSs. Incorporating this same skill training may yield further evidence about which TPB constructs public health professionals should include in the development of national alcohol and/or substance use prevention programs.

ISBN

9780355621143

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