Risk Factors for Adolescent Marijuana Use Across Cultures and Across Time

Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.
The Journal of Genetic Psychology (Impact Factor: 0.69). 10/2001; 162(3):357-74. DOI: 10.1080/00221320109597489
Source: PubMed


An integrated analysis of the data from 3 different studies was conducted to examine the early psychosocial predictors of later marijuana use among adolescents. Longitudinal analysis of interview data was performed. The data used in the analysis were derived from (a) a sample of 739 predominantly White adolescents representative of the northeastern United States, (b) a sample of 1,190 minority adolescents from the East Harlem section of New York City, and (c) a sample of 1,374 Colombian adolescents from two cities in Colombia, South America. In 2 of the samples, participants were interviewed in their homes, and in the 3rd study, participants were assessed in school. The predictors included a number of variables from (a) the personality domain, reflecting the adolescents' conventionality and intrapsychic functioning; (b) the family domain, representing the parent-child mutual attachment relationship and parental substance use; (c) the peer domain, reflecting the peer group's delinquency and substance use; and (d) the adolescents' own use of legal drugs. The dependent variable was adolescent marijuana use. The results of the analysis demonstrated remarkable consistency in the risk and protective factors for later marijuana use across the 3 samples, attesting to the robust nature of these predictors and their generalizability across gender, time, location, and ethnic/cultural background. These findings have important implications for designing intervention programs. Programs aimed at preventing adolescent marijuana use can be designed to incorporate universal features and still incorporate specific components that address the unique needs of adolescents from different groups.

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    • "Moreover, delinquent youth were more likely to receive offers to purchase illegal drugs (Rosenberg and Anthony, 2001). Overall, similar risk factors seem to operate for adolescent cannabis use opportunities as for the actual cannabis use (Brook et al., 2001; Coffey et al., 2000; Hawkins et al., 1992). Early drug use opportunities may evidently comprise diverse phenomena, which might be differently related to individual characteristics and other potential risk factors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Drug use is predicated on a combination of "willingness" and "opportunity". That is, independent of any desire to use drugs, a drug use opportunity is required; be it indirect (i.e., being in a drug-use setting) or direct (i.e., receiving a direct drug offer). However, whether some youth are more likely to encounter such direct drug use opportunities is not fully known. Aims: We examined whether certain characteristics placed adolescents at greater risk for being offered cannabis, after accounting for a number of demographic-, contextual-, interpersonal-, and personal-level risk factors. Methods: We utilized data from a Norwegian school survey (n=19,309) where the likelihood of receiving cannabis offer in the past year was estimated using logistic regression models. Substantive focus was on the individual and combined effects of personal (i.e., delinquency) and interpersonal (i.e., cannabis-using close friend) risk factors. Separate models were fit for middle- and high-school students. Results: Delinquency was a significant risk factor for receiving cannabis offers, as was a cannabis-using best friend. In addition, peer cannabis use increased the risk of cannabis offers mostly for adolescents on the lower delinquency spectrum, but less so for highly delinquent adolescents. These interaction effects were primarily driven by the middle-school cohort. Conclusions: Cannabis offers were more likely to be extended to youth of certain high-risk profiles. Targeted prevention strategies can therefore be extended to a general profile of younger adolescents with externalizing problems and cannabis-using peers.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.09.009 · 3.42 Impact Factor
    • "The risk factors that are related to cannabis (and other substances) span various domains or contexts of life—biological, psychological, and social . With respect to the scope of our study, the examples of psychological and social risk factors studied and related to cannabis are: academic performance and related school results (Diego et al. 2003; Storr et al. 2002); the child's satisfaction with his/her parents (Branstetter et al. 2009); peer pressure and relationships with peers (Shedler and Block 1990; Creemers et al. 2010; von Sydow et al. 2002); self-image, self-esteem, and satisfaction with oneself (Fergusson and Boden 2008; Weiss et al. 2011), gender-specific factors (Vigna-Taglianti et al. 2009); the age at the onset of use (Brook et al. 1999), leisure-time structuring (Schaub et al. 2010; Perez et al. 2010); thoughts of suicide (Crumley 1990; Esposito-Smythers and Spirito 2004), which are considered to be related to affective disorders (Bonn-Miller et al. 2008), and unconventionality, such as breaking the rules and rebelliousness (Brook et al. 2001). Universal prevention is generally considered an appropriate and generally effective school preventive strategy aimed at substance abuse (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to examine the effect of school-based preventive intervention on cannabis use in Czech adolescents with different levels of risk factors and provide evidence of its universality. A randomized controlled prevention trial with six waves was conducted over a period of 33 months. We used a two-level logistic random-intercept model for panel data; we first looked at the statistical significance of the effect of the intervention on cannabis use, controlling for the characteristics of the children and time dummies. Then we analyzed the effects of the interactions between the intervention and the characteristics of the children on cannabis use and related it to the definition of universal preventive interventions. The setting for the study was in basic schools in the Czech Republic in the years 2007-2010. A total of 1,874 sixth-graders (mean age 11.82 years) who completed the baseline testing. According to our results, the prevention intervention was effective. We found all the selected characteristics of the children to be relevant in relation to cannabis use, except their relationships with their friends. We showed empirically that the intervention is universal in two dimensions for the selected characteristics of the children. First, all adolescents who undergo the intervention are expected to benefit. Second, with respect to the effect of the intervention on cannabis use, the total level of individual risk of cannabis use is superior to the composition of the risk factors in the individual risk profile. We present indicative evidence that the drug prevention intervention may be considered a true universal preventive intervention.
    Prevention Science 01/2014; 16(2). DOI:10.1007/s11121-013-0453-z · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    • "Peer influences have long been recognized as critical risk factors for substance use involvement at different stages of development (Brook et al. 2001; Hawkins et al. 1992; Reifman et al. 1998; Windle 2000). Several studies of adolescents have found that individuals who use drugs are more likely to have friends who also engage in substance use (Bahr et al. 1998; Barnes et al. 2006; Steinberg et al. 1994). "
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    ABSTRACT: Marijuana is the most prevalent illicit drug used by adolescents and young adults, yet marijuana initiation is rarely studied past adolescence. The present study sought to advance our understanding of parent and peer influences on marijuana exposure opportunity and incident use during college. A sample of 1,253 students was assessed annually for 4 years starting with the summer prior to college entry. More than one-third (38%(wt)) of students had already used marijuana at least once prior to college entry; another 25%(wt) initiated use after starting college. Of the 360 students who did not use marijuana prior to college, 74% were offered marijuana during college; of these individuals, 54% initiated marijuana use. Both low levels of parental monitoring during the last year of high school and a high percentage of marijuana-using peers independently predicted marijuana exposure opportunity during college, holding constant demographics and other factors (AOR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.88-0.96, p < .001 and AOR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.08-1.14, p < .001, respectively). Among individuals with exposure opportunity, peer marijuana use (AOR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.03-1.05, p < .001), but not parental monitoring, was associated with marijuana initiation. Results underscore that peer influences operate well into late adolescence and young adulthood and thus suggest the need for innovative peer-focused prevention strategies. Parental monitoring during high school appears to influence exposure opportunity in college; thus, parents should be encouraged to sustain rule-setting and communication about adolescent activities and friend selection throughout high school.
    Prevention Science 08/2011; 13(1):43-54. DOI:10.1007/s11121-011-0243-4 · 2.63 Impact Factor
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