Cannabis use and later life outcomes

University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, New Zealand.
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 06/2008; 103(6):969-76; discussion 977-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02221.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine the associations between the extent of cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood and later education, economic, employment, relationship satisfaction and life satisfaction outcomes.
A longitudinal study of a New Zealand birth cohort studied to age 25 years.
Measures of: cannabis use at ages 14-25; university degree attainment to age 25; income at age 25; welfare dependence during the period 21-25 years; unemployment 21-25 years; relationship quality; life satisfaction. Also, measures of childhood socio-economic disadvantage, family adversity, childhood and early adolescent behavioural adjustment and cognitive ability and adolescent and young adult mental health and substance use.
There were statistically significant bivariate associations between increasing levels of cannabis use at ages 14-21 and: lower levels of degree attainment by age 25 (P < 0.0001); lower income at age 25 (P < 0.01); higher levels of welfare dependence (P < 0.0001); higher unemployment (P < 0.0001); lower levels of relationship satisfaction (P < 0.001); and lower levels of life satisfaction (P < 0.0001). These associations were adjusted for a range of potentially confounding factors including: family socio-economic background; family functioning; exposure to child abuse; childhood and adolescent adjustment; early adolescent academic achievement; and comorbid mental disorders and substance use. After adjustment, the associations between increasing cannabis use and all outcome measures remained statistically significant (P < 0.05).
The results of the present study suggest that increasing cannabis use in late adolescence and early adulthood is associated with a range of adverse outcomes in later life. High levels of cannabis use are related to poorer educational outcomes, lower income, greater welfare dependence and unemployment and lower relationship and life satisfaction. The findings add to a growing body of knowledge regarding the adverse consequences of heavy cannabis use.

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    • "We examine whether adolescents tend to experience more attention problems and academic difficulties during years when they report using marijuana experimentally (less than monthly) or moderately (at least once a month), relative to their levels of attention problems and academic difficulties before marijuana use was initiated . In addition, analyses examine whether these problems persisted after abstinence lasting at least a year, consistent with the notion that regular adolescent marijuana use can cause long-term impairments in cognitive and academic functioning (Fergusson and Boden 2008; Meier et al. 2012). Importantly, analytic models that focus on within-individual change are used to eliminate all pre-existing and time-invariant factors (e.g., early psychosocial adversity, genotype, intellectual abilities , prenatal complications, race) that vary between individuals as potential confounds, thereby strengthening causal inference (Allison 2009; Osgood 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is some suggestion that heavy marijuana use during early adolescence (prior to age 17) may cause significant impairments in attention and academic functioning that remain despite sustained periods of abstinence. However, no longitudinal studies have examined whether both male and female adolescents who engage in low (less than once a month) to moderate (at least once a monthly) marijuana use experience increased problems with attention and academic performance, and whether these problems remain following sustained abstinence. The current study used within-individual change models to control for all potential pre-existing and time-stable confounds when examining this potential causal association in two gender-specific longitudinal samples assessed annually from ages 11 to 16 (Pittsburgh Youth Study N = 479; Pittsburgh Girls Study N = 2296). Analyses also controlled for the potential influence of several pertinent time-varying factors (e.g., other substance use, peer delinquency). Prior to controlling for time-varying confounds, analyses indicated that adolescents tended to experience an increase in parent-reported attention and academic problems, relative to their pre-onset levels, during years when they used marijuana. After controlling for several time-varying confounds, only the association between marijuana use and attention problems in the sample of girls remained statistically significant. There was no evidence indicating that adolescents who used marijuana experienced lingering attention and academic problems, relative to their pre-onset levels, after abstaining from use for at least a year. These results suggest that adolescents who engage in low to moderate marijuana use experience an increase in observable attention and academic problems, but these problems appear to be minimal and are eliminated following sustained abstinence.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 04/2015; 43(7). DOI:10.1007/s10802-015-0012-0 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "The results of this study indicate that poor QOL is associated with subsequent onset of cannabis use in adolescents and may lead to further reductions in QOL. Some rese'archers have suggested that early cannabis use sets in motion a " cascade of consequences (Fergusson & Boden 2008; Horwood et al. 2010; Kandel et al. 1986; Kandel & Yamaguchi 1993). We suggest that initial poor QOL is the precursor to cannabis use, and possibly to a number of other adverse life-course outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cannabis is generally used to enhance mood (quality of life), but it is not known whether it has this effect in the medium to longer term. Little is currently known about the temporal sequence between cannabis use and the quality of life (QOL). Data are taken from a prospective longitudinal study of pregnant women recruited at their first antenatal visit in Brisbane, Australia. Offspring data from the follow-ups with 14-year-olds and 21-year-olds are used here. Indicators of QOL, happiness, and satisfaction at 14 years are considered as predictors of subsequent cannabis use. The association between cannabis use and QOL at 21 years, adjusting for prior QOL (14 years), is also examined. Socio-demographic characteristics were included as potential confounders relevant to QOL assessments. In this cohort, lower QOL in the early teenage years predicted subsequent onset of cannabis use in young adulthood. After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics and for QOL pre-cannabis use, participants who used cannabis more frequently had a lower QOL at the 21-years follow-up. Frequent use of cannabis does not appear to enhance the user's QOL and appears to be associated with a reduced QOL into young adulthood.
    Journal of psychoactive drugs 04/2015; 47(2):107-16. DOI:10.1080/02791072.2015.1014121 · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    • "In this sample, current cannabis-using participants had more contact with police as juveniles and they departed school at a younger age, with a lower achievement grade, similar to the findings reported by others (Fergusson & Boden 2008; Legleye et al. 2010). Our study identified that cannabis use increased during periods of high stress, unemployment, and other social influences. "
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    ABSTRACT: Urban non-indigenous populations report life events (marriages, employment) as influences for self-initiated cannabis cessation. However, this hasn't been investigated in remote indigenous populations with different social paradigms. We investigate cannabis use, harms, and poly-substance misuse in 101 consenting male incarcerated indigenous Australians. Interviews applied quantitative and qualitative questions assessing demographic characteristics, criminal history, drug use, the Marijuana Problems Inventory (MPI), and cannabis-cessation influences. Comparisons used Chi Square, Analysis of Variance, and Nvivo software. Cannabis use groups (current users, ex-users, and never users) were demographically similar except that current users reported more juvenile legal problems, younger school departure, and lower school achievement (p < 0.05). Mean cannabis consumption was 12.3 cones/day. Incarceration and family responsibilities were the strongest cessation influences. Employment responsibilities and negative self-image were rarely cited as influences. High cannabis use, with its associated problems, is concerning. These identified influences indicate incarceration should be used for substance reduction programs, plus post-release follow-up. Community-based programs focusing on positive influences, such as family responsibilities and social cohesion, may be successful within indigenous populations with strong kinship responsibilities, rather than programs that focus solely on substance harms.
    Journal of psychoactive drugs 04/2015; 47(2):117-24. DOI:10.1080/02791072.2015.1014949 · 1.10 Impact Factor
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