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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77232 Find in a Library
Title: Marijuana Use Among Students and Peers
Journal: Drug Forum  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:(1978-79)  Pages:155-165
Author(s): B S Griffin; C T Griffin
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study seeks to clarify those processes within the primary group in which individuals come to adopt predispositions favorable to the use of marijuana.
Abstract: The analysis can be readily adapted to Sutherland's theory of differential association which was posited to explain all types of criminal or delinquent behavior. Two types of differential association may be inferred from the theory: differential attitude association, transmitted through the verbal channel of two-way communication, and providing attitude definitions; and differential action association, transmitted through the gestures channel, and providing action or motivational definitions for imitative behavior. The research is based on data obtained from a random sample of 147 respondents who were primarily unmarried whites with a modal age of 19. They completed checklists indicating the extent of participation in and seriousness of 27 delinquent activities for themselves, designated peers, and parents. Included were items on sexual activity, theft, assault, and drug use; however, only those items which referred specifically to marijuana use or its perceived seriousness were used in the analysis. The findings tend to support a general path model based on Sutherland's theory by explaining 70 percent of the variance in marijuana use by college students. Exposure to an excess of definitions favorable to marijuana use (either verbal or through communication of gestures), whether internalized or not, plays an important role in the explanation of marijuana use. It appears that such differential action association (not requiring internalization) has the greater effect. The fact that this study focuses primarily on uninstitutionalized middle and upper class youth imposes limitations on its generalizability. Although the learning of marijuana use is probably similar in all social classes, it is suggested that future research be undertaken on lower class users to determine whether these factors result in the rejection or modification of this theory. Tabular data and 18 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Drug abuse causes; Marijuana; Psychological research; Socioculture
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