Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Hawley Montgomery-Downs


Rates of nonmedical psychostimulant use among emerging adults have been previously examined using self-report, but rates among adolescents have not been well documented. Additionally, few studies have examined the relation of nonmedical psychostimulant use and sleep. One purpose of this study was to examine rates of nonmedical psychostimulant use and sleep among adolescents and emerging adults utilizing the same self-report measures. The second goal was to compare objective measures of sleep among emerging adult nonmedical psychostimulant users and non-users.;Using an online survey adolescents (n=62) and emerging adults (n=583) were asked about past and current nonmedical use of psychostimulants and sleep quality, as measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Emerging adults were more likely to use psychostimulants nonmedically than adolescents [chi 2(1, N = 592) = 13.93; p < .001, odds ratio = 7.5]. Emerging adults (M = 7.73, SD = 3.58) also self-reported worse quality sleep than adolescents (M = 6.36, SD = 3.97)[F(1, 570) = 5.34, p < .05]. Additionally, adolescents reported significantly more average sleep per night in hours (M = 7.77, SD = 1.71) than emerging adults (M = 6.97, SD = 1.51) [t (1, 644) = 3.90; p < .01].;Objective measures of sleep, using actigraphy, and of nonmedical use, using urinalysis, were obtained from a sub-set of 14 nonmedical using and 14 non-using emerging adults. Among users, total sleep time was significantly lower on nights preceding use (M = 310.71, SD = 116.89) than on nights not preceding use (M = 419.63, SD = 87.69) [F (1, 79) = 15.06; p < 0.001]. No difference was found between nights following use when compared to nights not following use.;This study confirms that emerging adults are more likely than adolescents to use psychostimulants nonmedically and that emerging adults report poorer sleep quality and shorter sleep times than adolescents. Additionally, it seems that emerging adult users utilize psychostimulants to compensate for shortened total sleep time on the previous night. SUPPORT: WVU Doctoral Student Research support (MCK); WVU Alumni Fund (MCK); WVU Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Scholarship Research Award (MCK).