UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN
P.O. BOX 175, PORT OF SPAIN
Presented in Partial Fulfilment
Of the Requirements of the Course
FMST456-01 – Marriage and the Family
INSTRUCTOR: Narsha Modeste
15th October 2018
This research will take an explorative look into teenage and adolescent marijuana use as well as risk factors that may lead to marijuana use in relation to the topic of Addiction and Drug Studies. The articles cover the use of marijuana in different countries as well as in different forms e.g. smoking and edibles. They also discuss the influence of family structures and socioeconomic status on marijuana use. The review of literature on this topic has highlighted the various aspects of marijuana use among teens and adolescents. The research in this area led to the discovery of articles which highlighted key terms, methodologies and intriguing findings during the literature review process.
The first article titled “Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California” was written by Bettina Friese, Michael D. Slater and Robynn S. Battle. This article discussed the ways in which adolescent marijuana users who use edible differ in their marijuana use and related beliefs from marijuana users who do not use edibles CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017). In this article, the terms edibles, marijuana-infused products and hashish stood out as new to me. Further research into these terms revealed that foods such as cookies, brownies and candies can be infused with marijuana or hashish (the byproduct of processing marijuana) and can then be eaten to experience the effects of marijuana instead of smoking it. This method of marijuana intake is referred to as edibles CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017).
In this research study, the researcher investigated a racially and ethnically diverse group of adolescents between grades 9 – 12 within a Northern California School District. The data was taken from the California Heathy Kids Survey where purposive and convenience sampling was used CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017). To analyse the data, researchers used multilevel regression analyses to “examine relationship between individual and school level factors, edible use and related beliefs” CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017).
The major findings of this research indicated that of the participants, seventy two percent of the adolescents from the school district surveyed who are lifetime marijuana users, as well as eighty two percent of adolescents who used marijuana in the past month, all reported the use of edibles within their lifetime CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017). More interestingly, the research showed that users of edibles were heavier users of marijuana than non-edible users. These users were more likely to have used marijuana within the past month and were more likely to use these edibles on school property. According to Friese, Slater & Battle (2017), they were also more likely to have started using at a younger age than non-edible users and reported more frequent attempts to quit using. The end result of the study was that the prevalence of edible use is indeed high among marijuana users especially those who use frequently CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017).
The second article discovered in the review of literature is title, “The Social Contagion Effect of Marijuana Use among Adolescents” by Mir M. Ali, Aliaksandr Amialchuk and Debra S. Dwyer. The research points out that prior research on adolescent substance abuse has pointed out that there is strong relationship between adolescent behaviour and their peer group’s behaviour. The purpose of the research was to empirically quantify the role of peer social networks in explaining marijuana usage among adolescents. The study states marijuana as the most commonly used drug CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer, 2011). The study investigated a nationally representative sample of adolescents from Wave I (1994) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which according to the researchers, consists of data on adolescents in 132 schools nationwide between grades 7 to 12. An empirical model was developed along with instruments to measure adolescent and peer marijuana use. The analyses included parent measures such as “whether the parents drank, smoked, their level of education, whether both biological parents live with the adolescent and whether benefits were collected by the family” CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer, 2011). These factors helped to quantify the relationships peer relationships and marijuana use CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer, 2011).
The major findings of this study indicated that peer effects are actually important in determining marijuana use even after the research was controlled for potential biases. According to Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer (2011), evidence was found which showed that the influence of close friends and the more vaguely acquainted classmates are quite similar in their magnitude under the preferred specification of the researchers. This result supported the theory predicting the importance of peer influence, which was held by the researchers CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer, 2011).
The third article is titled “Family Structure, Parental Monitoring and Marijuana Use among Adolescents in Jamaica: Findings from Nationally Representative Data” and is written by Oshi, et al. This study was undertaken in Jamaica and was based on the misuse of marijuana as a social/mental health problem. The objective of this study was to determine if the structure of the family and parental monitoring was associated with marijuana use among the adolescent. The new term that stood out during the review of this article was parental monitoring. The researchers seem to define parental monitoring as the amount of attention a parent pays toward the activities of their child CITATION DCO17 l 1033 (Oshi, et al., 2017).
The study studied three thousand, three hundred and sixty five (3365) students between grades 8–12 from 38 randomly selected secondary schools across Jamaica. The data was collected from Jamaica’s National Secondary School Survey which was done in 2013 and analyses were done via PSPP software. The results of the study showed that in terms of gender, there was a much higher prevalence of lifetime use in males than female adolescents. According to Oshi, et al (2017), the research indicated that was “no significant difference found in prevalence of use between male and females within both the last 12 months and the last 30 days.” The parental monitoring of adolescents’ school activities did significantly protect against the lifetime use of marijuana according to the researchers CITATION DCO17 l 1033 (Oshi, et al., 2017). In addition, and most interestingly, the lifetime use of marijuana among Jamaican adolescents was found to be linked to family structure but not from the view of single parent vs nuclear families, as typically assumed.
The fourth article reviewed is titled “Contextual Effects of Neighborhoods and Schools on Adolescent and Young Adult Marijuana Use in the United States.” This article was written by Carly Milliren, Tracy Richmond, Clare Evans, Eric Dunn and Renee Johnson. The study points out that there is actually very little known about the very unique contribution that schools as opposed to neighborhoods have in fueling adolescent marijuana use and sought to examine the influence of each setting on use as well as look at the influence of the socioeconomic status of the school and the neighborhood on use CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, ; Johnson, 2017). The new terms that stood out in this article were socioeconomic status and contextual effects. The researchers defined socioeconomic status as “the relative position of a family or individual on a hierarchical social structure, based on access to or control over wealth, prestige, resources, and power CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, & Johnson, 2017). Although the definition for contextual effect was not stated, the researched definition found was “a part of cognitive psychology that states that the environmental factors or context that surrounds an event affects the way an event is perceived and remembered” CITATION Connd l 1033 (Context Effect, n.d.).
The subjects of the study were 18,329 adolescents and 13,908 young adults and the data was taken from Add Health. The researchers used systematic random sampling of high schools and feeder schools using data from Wave I of the Add Health survey of 1994-1995 to conduct this research, as well as data from Wave IV in home interviews to explore the long term effects of school and neighborhood on marijuana use in young adults CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, & Johnson, 2017). Marijuana use and socioeconomic status was measured and “cross classified multilevel logistic regression models” were used to analyze the data CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, & Johnson, 2017).
The major findings of this study, according to Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn & Johnson (2017), showed that marijuana use is common among the adolescents regardless of their socioeconomic status and that both school level and neighborhood level socioeconomic status factors were linked to marijuana use. However, there is potential for neighborhood level and school level interventions to have ongoing effects on the adolescents well into young adulthood CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, & Johnson, 2017). The study results further show the complexity of the relationship between socioeconomic status and the use of marijuana CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, & Johnson, 2017).
The final article reviewed in this literature review is “Teen Use of Marijuana Edibles: A Focus group Study of an Emerging Issue” by Bettina Friese, Michael D Slater, Rachelle Annechino and Robynn S Battle. The article mentions that previous research indicated that edible use has become almost as commonplace as smoking marijuana in the case of medical marijuana CITATION Bet16 l 1033 (Friese B. , Slater, Annechino, & Battle, 2016). The researchers pointed out that the availability of marijuana edibles was caused by the rapidly changing legal status of marijuana which thus encouraged marijuana use among adolescents in states where it was legal. Mention is given to the fact that the THC in edibles is absorbed more slowly in edibles than if smoked and that this lag before the high may lead to the consumption of excessive amounts of marijuana while waiting CITATION Bet16 l 1033 (Friese B. , Slater, Annechino, & Battle, 2016).
The subjects studied in this research were youth ages 15 -17 within the San Francisco Bay Area. This research was conducted using qualitative methodology via four focus groups that were divided by marijuana use status and gender. Parental consent was gained before screening of potential participants occurred and those who stated they had never used marijuana were placed in the non-user group while those who stated they did use were places in the user group CITATION Bet16 l 1033 (Friese B. , Slater, Annechino, & Battle, 2016). The major findings of this study showed that firstly, youth used edibles to reduce the chance of them getting caught at school while some girls specified that smoking is also seen as unattractive for females CITATION Bet16 l 1033 (Friese B. , Slater, Annechino, & Battle, 2016). In addition, the youth obtained the edibles either from other students who made them or students who resold the ones they obtained from dispensaries. Finally, many of the teens stated that they saw edible use as risky due to the strength of the high they experienced from using them CITATION Bet16 l 1033 (Friese B. , Slater, Annechino, & Battle, 2016).
In conclusion, the articles reviewed provided insight into the body of knowledge surrounding adolescent and youth marijuana use. Although the topic is widely talked about, research into the specific factors that can seriously influence adolescent marijuana use is limited and more needs to be done.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Ali, M. M., Amialchuk, A., & Dwyer, D. S. (2011). The Social Contagion Effect of Marijuana Use among. PLosONE.
Context Effect. (n.d.). Retrieved from Alleydog.com : https://www.alleydog.com/glossary/cite-my-term.php?term=Context+Effect
Friese, B., Slater, M. D., & Battle, R. S. (2017). Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California. Journal of Primary Prevention, 279-294.
Friese, B., Slater, M. D., Annechino, R., & Battle, R. S. (2016). Teen Use of Marijuana Edibles: A Focus Group Study of an Emerging Issue. Journal of Primary Prevention, 303-309.
Milliren, C. E., Richmond, T. K., Evans, C. R., Dunn, E. C., & Johnson, R. M. (2017). Contextual Effects of Neighborhoods and Schools on Adolescent and Young Adult Marijuana Use in the United States. Substance Abuse Reseaerch and Treatment, 1-10.
Oshi, D. C., Abel, W. D., Ricketts-Roomes, T., Agu, C. F., Oshi, S., Harrison, J., . . . Ukwaja, K. N. (2017). Family Structure, Parental Monitoring and Marijuana Use among Adolescents. West Indian Medical Journal, 536-545.