Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-7154
Authors: Hildt, Elisabeth
Lieb, Klaus
Franke, Andreas
Title: Life context of pharmacological academic performance enhancement among university students : a qualitative approach
Online publication date: 15-Jun-2022
Language: english
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Academic performance enhancement or cognitive enhancement (CE) via stimulant drug use has received increasing attention. The question remains, however, whether CE solely represents the use of drugs for achieving better academic or workplace results or whether CE also serves various other purposes. The aim of this study was to put the phenomenon of pharmacological academic performance enhancement via prescription and illicit (psycho-) stimulant use (Amphetamines, Methylphenidate) among university students into a broader context. Specifically, we wanted to further understand students' experiences, the effects of use on students and other factors, such as pressure to perform in their academic and private lives. METHODS: A sample of 18 healthy university students reporting the non-medical use of prescription and illicit stimulants for academic performance enhancement was interviewed in a face-to-face setting. The leading questions were related to the situations and context in which the students considered the non-medical use of stimulants. RESULTS: Based on the resultant transcript, two independent raters identified six categories relating to the life context of stimulant use for academic performance enhancement: Context of stimulant use beyond academic performance enhancement, Subjective experience of enhancement, Timing of consumption, Objective academic results, Side effects, Pressure to perform. CONCLUSIONS: The answers reveal that academic performance enhancement through the use of stimulants is not an isolated phenomenon that solely aims at enhancing cognition to achieve better academic results but that the multifaceted life context in which it is embedded is of crucial relevance. The participants not only considered the stimulants advantageous for enhancing academic performance, but also for leading an active life with a suitable balance between studying and time off. The most common reasons given for stimulant use were to maximize time, to increase motivation and to cope with memorizing. According to the interviews, there is a considerable discrepancy between subjective experiences and objective academic results achieved.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
ROR: https://ror.org/023b0x485
DOI: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-7154
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
Information on rights of use: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Journal: BMC medical ethics
15
Pages or article number: Art. 23
Publisher: BioMed central
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2014
ISSN: 1472-6939
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6939-15-23
Publisher DOI: 10.1186/1472-6939-15-23
Appears in collections:DFG-OA-Publizieren (2012 - 2017)

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