Lewis, Nehama, Lourdes S. Martinez, Aysha Agbarya, and Tanya Piatok-Vaisman . “Examining Patterns and Motivations for Drug-Related Information Seeking and Scanning Behavior: A Cross-National Comparison of American and Israeli College Students.” Communication Quarterly (early view; online first).
The current study uses a grounded theory approach to explore dimensions and bi-national comparisons of active information seeking efforts (seeking) for and passive information acquisition (scanning) of drug-related information among two college student samples from the United States (N = 25) and Israel (N = 39). Specifically, the study focuses on seeking and scanning related to amphetamines and marijuana, two frequently used drugs among college populations, about which information is easily accessible. Results of semi-structured interviews suggest that information scanning and seeking about marijuana and amphetamines are common, particularly from peers and from the Internet. The analysis uncovers themes relating to young adults’ drug-related, information-seeking behaviors, including cross-source information acquisition across interpersonal and media sources, and motivations for engaging in active efforts to seek drug-related information. These findings extend research on information seeking and scanning and suggest future research should examine predictors and effects of these behaviors in the context of substance use.