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Trajectories of marijuana use and psychological adjustment among urban African American and Puerto Rican women

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2010

K. Pahl*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, NY, USA
J. S. Brook
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, NY, USA
J. Koppel
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, NY, USA
*
*Address for correspondence: Dr K. Pahl, Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, 215 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10016, USA. (Email: kerstin.pahl@nyumc.org)

Abstract

Background

The current longitudinal study examined the developmental patterns of marijuana use and their relationship with subsequent psychological adjustment in a community-based sample of urban African American and Puerto Rican women.

Method

Participants were interviewed five times over a period ranging from adolescence (mean age 14.0 years) to adulthood (mean age 32.5 years). Outcome measures included depressive symptoms, anger/hostility and the presence of a substance use disorder (abuse/dependence).

Results

Three distinct trajectories of marijuana use were identified: non-users, increasers and quitters. Increasers reported higher levels of depressive symptoms and anger/hostility than did non-users and were more likely to meet criteria for a substance use disorder at age 32.5 years.

Conclusions

Our findings indicate that early-starting long-term use of marijuana is associated with psychological maladjustment among women. Prevention efforts should emphasize the long-term cost associated with marijuana use, and that the best psychological health is reported by those who abstain from the drug.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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