UW research examines dating, prescription drug mix
MADISON (WKOW) -- With bold, newspaper ads topped by the question, "Are you DATING?," UW-Madison researchers are recruiting study subjects to delve into the daily lives of young couples, and the potential impact of prescription drug use, and misuse, on their happiness.
The study is headed up UW Couples Lab Director Lauren Papp, an associate professor of human development and family studies.
Papp led a previous study on prescription drug misuse among dating partners, with sobering findings.
"When one partner misused medication, the other partner was more likely to misuse medication as well," Papp tells 27 News.
Papp says data for the study was derived from questionnaire answers.
Papp tells 27 News the current study explores prescription drug use by young couples more broadly, and is planned to involve two laboratory sessions with each of fifty-five couples, and ten days of journal-keeping on iPads by each participant at their homes.
"We'll be able to look at what partners are doing together, the partners spending time together, what all they are doing and feeling during those times," Papp says.
If the current study reveals more medication misuse among partners, Papp believes researchers may learn reasons why dating partners share the risky practice.
An informal sampling of Madison couples in the same age range (18-25) as study participants suggests the reaction to a partner's medication misuse can also be attempts at intervention.
"It would be something that I would bring up with them, and suggesting they get help, or trying to help them out," Claire Mayer of Madison says.
Papp anticipates research study results in the fall.