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

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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.
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).
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.
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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1775-1783
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number08
Early online date16 Dec 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

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