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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201486 Find in a Library
Title: Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Adolescent Cannabis Use on High School Completion
Journal: Addiction  Volume:98  Issue:5  Dated:May 2003  Pages:685-692
Author(s): Michael T. Lynskey; Carolyn Coffey; Louisa Degenhardt; John B. Carlin; George Patton
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examined whether weekly cannabis consumption during mid-adolescence influenced early school-leaving in Australia.
Abstract: Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug among adolescents in most western countries. As such, it becomes important to study the effects of cannabis use on developing adolescents. The authors examined data from a seven-wave cohort study of adolescents in Victoria, Australia. Male and female students between the ages of 15 and 18, and then again at age 21, were interviewed via the telephone in six waves and also completed computer-assisted self-administered questionnaires. Measures included frequency of cannabis use and early school leaving. Information was also collected for cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, antisocial behavior, demographic characteristics, and psychiatric morbidity for control purposes. Results of statistical analyses revealed that weekly cannabis use was associated with early school leaving; the association remained after controlling for the other assessed covariates. Results were suggestive of an interaction between weekly cannabis use and age, with younger cannabis users more likely to leave school early than older cannabis users. Findings suggest that programs designed to prevent illicit drug use among adolescents should focus on curbing early onset of regular cannabis use.
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use; Marijuana
Index Term(s): Australia; Cohort studies; School dropouts
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