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Cannabis Use and Psychosocial Adjustment in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

NCJ Number
Addiction Volume: 97 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2002 Pages: 1123-1135
David M. Fergusson; L. John Horwood; Nicola Swain-Campbell
Date Published
September 2002
13 pages
This article explores whether youths who use cannabis have psychosocial adjustment problems during adolescence and early adulthood.
The rise in the use of cannabis has spurred researchers to learn more about the drug and the consequences of its use. The authors of this paper questioned whether the frequency of cannabis use was positively associated with involvement in property or violent crime, use of other drugs, depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt. The authors made use of a 21-year longitudinal study that followed a birth cohort of 1,265 New Zealand children. Data were examined for frequency of cannabis use and the five psychosocial measures mentioned above among youths 14- to 21-years-old. Findings of statistical analysis revealed that the frequency of cannabis use, especially among the youngest group of youths, was positively associated with all of the psychosocial measures. Among the psychosocial consequences of cannabis use, the use of other illicit drugs was the measure that was most significantly related to frequency of cannabis use. In conclusion, the authors note that the psychosocial consequences of cannabis use were most pronounced among youths 14- to 15-years-old. As such, it is important that anti-drug programs be introduced in grade schools. References


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