Medicine and Health Sciences
The college years are a time for developing independence and separating from one’s family, and it is also a time in which substance use often escalates. This study examined the relationships between use of substances and interpersonal guilt, an emotion that can arise from feelings about separation, among 1,979 college students. Regular users of alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis, and other illicit drugs were compared with non-regular users of each substance. Sequential linear regression, controlling for confounding variables, examined relationships between regular use of each substance and scores on a guilt index. Risky drinkers and daily smokers had significantly more interpersonal guilt than their peers who did not regularly use these substances. In contrast, regular cannabis users had significantly less guilt than non-regular cannabis users. These data suggest that substance use among college students may be related to interpersonal guilt and family separation issues, and this relationship may vary across substances.
Petry, Nancy M., "Interpersonal Guilt and Substance Use in College Students" (2015). UCHC Articles - Research. 299.