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Personality characteristics and health risk behaviors associated with current marijuana use among college students

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2011.13015    6,268 Downloads   12,795 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objective: Marijuana is a prevalent substance used among young adults and has serious psychosocial and health-related consequences. Thus, identifying factors associated with marijuana use is critical. The current study aimed to examine personality factors and health risk behaviors associated with marijuana use. Methods: We administered an online survey to six colleges in the Southeast. Overall, we recruited 24,055 college students, yielding 4840 responses (20.1% response rate), with complete data from 4,401 students. Results: Current (past 30 day) marijuana use was reported by 13.8% of our sample. Users either reported infrequent use of marijuana (i.e., between 1 and 5 days; 52.3%) or very frequent use of marijuana (i.e. ,between 26 and 30 days; 18.2%). Mutlivariate analyses modeling correlates of marijuana use (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.323) indicated that significant factors included being younger (p < 0.001), being male (p = 0.002), being Black (p = 0.002), attending a four-year college (p = 0.005), being a nondaily (p < 0.001) or daily smoker (p < 0.001) vs. a nonsmoker, other tobacco use (p < 0.001), greater alcohol use (p < 0.001), greater perceived stress (p = 0.009), higher levels of sensation seeking (<0.001) and openness to experiences (p = 0.02), and lower levels of agreeableness (p = 0.01) and conscientiousness (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Identifying risk factors related to marijuana use is critical in developing interventions targeting both use and prevention. Moreover, understanding different college settings and the contextual factors associated with greater marijuana use is critical.

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Berg, C. , Buchanan, T. , Grimsley, L. , Rodd, J. and Smith, D. (2011) Personality characteristics and health risk behaviors associated with current marijuana use among college students. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1, 101-108. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2011.13015.

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