Substance Abuse and Correlating Causes

Faculty Sponsor

Matthew Ringenberg


Arts and Sciences


Social Work

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 3-21-2017


The proposed research project will look at substance abuse, as well as the correlation between substance abuse and the causes of substance abuse. What are the main causes that make an adolescent turn to substance abuse? The hypothesis (H1) is that adult children of substance abusers are more likely to develop an addiction than those who have parents that abstain. However, the primary aim of this study is to determine various causes of substance abuse. To test this hypothesis, two groups of people will be chosen to participate in a survey. The chosen groups will not be at random. Group #1 will include people who have substance abuse problems. Group #2 will consist of individuals who decided to abstain from drugs and alcohol. It is vital to have a sample from both of these populations to allow a better understanding and to look for other causes of substance abuse. During our study, every effort to protect the participant’s identity will be taken. The survey does ask some demographic questions, however, the answers will not be clear identifiers of any individual. At the beginning of the survey, there will be a disclosure. This will explain to the participants that if at any time during the survey they become uncomfortable, they may stop. The survey is completely voluntary. The survey will be posted to substance abuse support groups Facebook pages. We have reached out to the following pages and are currently awaiting approval to post the link to our survey onto their pages: Drug Addiction & Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse USA, Substance Abuse Counseling Forum, and Substance Abuse Awareness. The survey will consist of thorough questions aimed at retrieving the information that we need to accept or reject our hypothesis. The survey will be made and administered by using a database called Qualtrics. The questions will range from topics such as socioeconomic status, parental substance abuse status, the age that the individual started their substance abuse, and how many other substances have they tried or become addicted to since the starting point. It is important that our survey addresses the appropriate questions for us to receive a significant conclusion. The questions will also be phrased in a manner that will be compassionate to those participating in the survey. The goal is to obtain as much information while having as little effect on the participants as possible. It is understood that this survey may cause some individuals discomfort or cause an individual to want to seek help. This is why, at the end of the survey, there is a table that has a list of resources from half-way houses to family counselors, their phone numbers and addresses. This will allow any participant the ability to seek help if they become affected by answering the survey. Once the information is received through the survey, the data will be compiled into the database and searched for correlations. The only places that the data collected will be stored is on Qualtrics (password secured), SPSS, and a secured university folder. The ultimate goal is to determine which factors have the greatest effect on adolescents becoming substance abusers. With that information, there can be a better understanding on how to prevent future generations from developing a substance abuse problem.

This document is currently not available here.