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Cannabis use and mental health in secondary school children

Findings from a Dutch survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Karin Monshouwer*
Affiliation:
Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction), Utrecht
Saskia Van Dorsselaer
Affiliation:
Trimbos Institute and University of Amsterdam
Jacqueline Verdurmen
Affiliation:
Trimbos Institute
Tom Ter Bogt
Affiliation:
Trimbos Institute and Department of Clinical Child and Adolescent Studies, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Ron De Graaf
Affiliation:
Trimbos Institute and Department of Clinical Child and Adolescent Studies, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Wilma Vollebergh
Affiliation:
Trimbos Institute and Department of Clinical Child and Adolescent Studies, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Karin Monshouwer, Trimbos Institute, PO Box 725, 3500 AS, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 30 297 1100; fax: +31 30 297 111; e-mail: kmonshouwer@trimbos.nl
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Abstract

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Background

Cannabis use is associated with mental health problems, and young people in particular are at risk.

Aims

To investigate the association between cannabis use and mental health in adolescence.

Method

Data from 5551 adolescents aged 12–16 years were drawn from the Dutch Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children school survey, carried out as part of the international 2001 World Health Organization project.

Results

After adjusting for confounding factors, cannabis use was linked to externalising problems (delinquent and aggressive behaviour) but not to internalising problems (withdrawn behaviour, somatic complaints and depression). An increasing frequency of use resulted in stronger links. No significant gender or age by cannabis interaction effects were found.

Conclusions

In a country with a liberal drug policy like The Netherlands, cannabis use is associated with aggression and delinquency, just as in other countries. Cannabis use was not associated with internalising problems. Alcohol use and regular smoking were strong confounding factors.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

Footnotes

Declaration of Interest

None.

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