OBJECTIVE: To find the differences between Khat users and non-Khat users on the basis of personality traits, interpersonal difficulties and mental health problems.
METHODS: A cross-sectional research design was used, and the sample was selected from undergraduate university students through a mixed sample technique. There was an approximately equal number of all four years of undergraduate students in the sample out of which 247 of the sample were Khat users and 94 were non-Khat users (control variable). All the participants were male and aged between 18 to 25 years. The scales used were Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), newly developed Khat Interpersonal Difficulties Scale (KIDS), and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS). A debriefing session was carried out at the end of each testing and participants were asked for any inquiry, question and feedback. SPSS version 21.0 was used to analyze the data.
RESULTS: Results revealed mean age of Khat users as 23.03±2.01, while non-Khat users had 21.44±1.71. Khat user students scored higher on neuroticism (t=4.45, p<0.001), psychoticism (t=2.92, p<0.001) and tend to experience more interpersonal difficulties (t=11.83, p<0.001) and more mental health problems (t=11.67, p<0.001) as compared to non-Khat users. Multiple regression analysis found a strong positive relationship between personality traits (neuroticism and psychoticism) with interpersonal difficulties (β=31, 28, respectively p<0.001) and mental health problems (β=28, 35, respectively p<0.001) as well.
CONCLUSION: Khat use is related to a high score on neuroticism and psychoticism and the experience of more interpersonal difficulties and mental health problems.
KEY WORDS: Extroversion (MeSH); Neuroticism (MeSH); Psychoticism (Non-MeSH); Personality (MeSH); Interpersonal difficulties (Non-MeSH); Depression (MeSH); Catha (MeSH); Khat (MeSH); Mental Health (MeSH); Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (Non-MeSH); Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Non-MeSH); Khat Interpersonal Difficulties Scale (Non-MeSH)
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