Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-96qlp Total loading time: 0.241 Render date: 2022-12-06T19:52:00.253Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Understanding the association between adolescent marijuana use and later serious drug use: Gateway effect or developmental trajectory?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2008

H. Harrington Cleveland*
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
Richard P. Wiebe
Affiliation:
Fitchburg State College
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: H. Harrington Cleveland, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, S113-C Henderson, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802; E-mail: hhc10@psu.edu.

Abstract

Because marijuana use often precedes the use of other psychoactive substances, it has been characterized as a gateway to these other substances. The present study used data from both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Youth (Add Health) to examine the “gateway effect” role of earlier marijuana on later hard drug use. Difference score analyses reveal that within-pair differences in earlier marijuana use, controlling for differences in earlier hard drug use, and peer marijuana use predicted later within-pair hard drug use differences for DZ twin pairs. In contrast, earlier differences in marijuana use among MZ twin pairs did not predict later hard drug use differences. Rather than supporting the interpretation that earlier marijuana use “triggers” later hard drug use, these results suggest that the longitudinal pattern of drug use that has been interpreted as the “gateway effect” might be better conceptualized as a genetically influenced developmental trajectory.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by Grant P01-HD31921 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgment to Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. We also acknowledge the assistance of Jacquelyn D. Wiersma and Guang Guo and thank the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript for their perspicacity. Persons interested in obtaining data files from Add Health should contact Add Health, Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524 (addhealth@unc.edu).

References

Bearman, P. S., Jones, J., & Udry, J. R. (1998). The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health: Research design. Retrieved on June 10, 2002, from http://www.cpc.unc.edu/projects/addhealth/design.htmlGoogle Scholar
Clayton, R. R., Voss, H. L., & LoSciuto, L. A. (1988). Gateway drugs: What are the stages people go through in becoming drug abusers. Pharmacy Times, 53, 2835.Google Scholar
Cleveland, H. H. (2003). Disadvantaged neighborhoods and adolescent aggression: Behavioral genetic evidence of contextual effects. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13, 211238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cleveland, H. H., Wiebe, R., & Rowe, D. C. (2005). Genetic influences on associations with substance using peers. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 166, 153169.Google Scholar
Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Duffy, J. C., & Waterton, J. J. (1984). Underreporting of alcohol consumption in sample surveys: The effect of computer interviewing on fieldwork. British Journal of Addictions, 79, 303308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellickson, P., Hays, R. D., Bell, , & Robert, M. (1992). Stepping through the drug use sequence: Longitudinal scalogram analysis of initiation and regular use. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101, 441451.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Golub, A., & Johnson, B. D. (2002). The misuse of the “Gateway Theory” in US policy on drug abuse control: A secondary analysis of the muddled deduction. International Journal of Drug Policy, 13, 519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grunberg, N. E., & Faraday, M. M. (2002). The value of animal models to examine the gateway hypothesis. In Kandel, D. B., (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 289317). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hall, W. D., & Lynskey, M. (2005). Is cannabis a gateway drug? Testing hypotheses about the relationship between cannabis use and the use of other illicit drugs. Drug and Alcohol Review, 24, 3948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hawkins, J. D., Hill, K. G., Gui, J., & Battin-Pearson, S. R. (2002). Substance use norms and transitions in substance use: Implications for the gateway hypothesis. In Kandel, D. B., (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 4264). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hopfer, C. J., Crowley, T. J., & Hewitt, J. K. (2003). Review of twin and adoption studies of adolescent substance use. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 42, 710719.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kandel, D. B. (1975). Stages in adolescent involvement in drug use. Science, 190, 912–194.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kandel, D. B. (2002). Examining the gateway hypothesis: Stages and pathways of drug involvement. In Kandel, D. B. (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 318). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kandel, D. B., & Jessor, R. (2002). The gateway hypothesis revisited. In Kandel, D. B., (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 365372). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kandel, D. B., & Yamaguchi, K. (1999). Developmental stages of involvement in substance use. In Tarter, R. E., Ammerman, R. J., & Ott, P. J. (Eds.), Sourcebook on substance use: Etiology, assessment, and treatment (pp. 5070). Needhan Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
Kandel, D. B., & Yamaguchi, K. (2002). Stages of drug involvement in the U.S. population. In Kandel, D. B., (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 6590). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kandel, D. B., Yamaguchi, K., & Chen, K. (1992). Stages of progression in drug involvement from adolescence to adulthood: Further evidence for the gateway theory. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 53, 447457.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Koob, G. F. (2002). Neurobiology of drug addiction. In Kandel, D. B., (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 337361). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Labouvie, E., & White, H. R. (2002). Drug sequences, age of onset, and use trajectories as predictors of drug abuse/dependence in young adulthood. In Kandel, D. B. (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 1941). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lessem, J. M, Hopher, C. J., Haberstick, B. C., Timberlake, D., Ehringer, M. A., Smolen, A., et al. (2006). Relationship between adolescent marijuana use and young adult illicit drug use. Behavior Genetics, 36, 498506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lynskey, M. T., Glowinski, A. L., Todorov, A. A., Bucholz, K. K., Madden, P. F., Nelson, E. C., et al. (2004). Major depressive disorder, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt in twins discordant for cannabis dependence and early-onset cannabis use. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 10261032.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lynskey, M. T., Heath, A. C., Bucholz, K. K., Slutske, W. S., Madden, P. F., Nelson, E. C., et al. (2003). Escalation of drug use in early-onset cannabis users vs co-twin controls. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 427432.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lynskey, M. T., Statham, D. J., Martin, N. G., Heath, A. C., Bucholz, K. K., Madden, P. F., et al. (2003). Early exposure to marijuana and risk of later drug use: In reply. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290, 330331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McLeod, J., Hickman, M., & Smith, G. D. (2003). Letter to the editor. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290, 329330.Google Scholar
Meehl, P.E. (1970). Nuisance variables and the ex post facto design. In Radner, M. & Winokur, S. (Eds.), Analyses of theories and methods of physics and psychology. Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science (Vol. IV, pp. 373402). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
Newcomb, M. D., & Bentler, P. M. (1986). Frequency and sequence of drug use: Longitudinal study from early adolescence to young adulthood. Journal of Drug Education, 16, 101120.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Patton, G. C., Coffey, C., Carlin, J. B., Sawyer, S. M., & Lynskey, M. (2005). Reverse gateways? Frequent cannabis use as a predictor of tobacco initiation and nicotine dependence. Addiction, 100, 15181525.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rogosa, D. R., Brandt, D., & Zimowski, M. (1982). A growth curve approach to the measurement of change. Psychological Bulletin, 90, 726748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rogosa, D. R, & Willett, J. B. (1983). Demonstrating the reliability of the difference score in the measurement of change. The Journal of Educational Measurement, 20, 335343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schenk, S. (2002). Sensitization as a process underlying the progression of drug use via gateway drugs. In Kandel, D. B. (Ed.), Stages and pathways of drug involvement: Examining the gateway hypothesis (pp. 318336). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schier, J. G., Nelson, L. S., & Hoffman, R.S. (2003). Letter to the editor. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290, 329329.Google Scholar
Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. J., & Campbell, D. C. (2001). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. New York: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Sorenson, A. M., & Brownfield, D. (1989). Patterns of adolescent drug use: Inferences from latent structural analysis. Social Science Research, 18, 271290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wagner, F. A., & Anthony, J. C. (2002). Into the world of illegal drug use: Exposure opportunity and other mechanisms linking the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine. American Journal of Epidemiology, 155, 918925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
45
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Understanding the association between adolescent marijuana use and later serious drug use: Gateway effect or developmental trajectory?
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Understanding the association between adolescent marijuana use and later serious drug use: Gateway effect or developmental trajectory?
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Understanding the association between adolescent marijuana use and later serious drug use: Gateway effect or developmental trajectory?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *