Adolescent substance use and educational attainment: an integrative data analysis comparing cannabis and alcohol from three Australasian cohorts

Silins, Edmund, Fergusson, David M., Patton, George C., Horwood, L. John, Olsson, Craig A., Hutchinson, Delyse M., Degenhardt, Louisa, Tait, Robert J., Borschmann, Rohan, Coffey, Carolyn, Toumbourou, John W., Najman, Jake M. and Mattick, Richard P. 2015, Adolescent substance use and educational attainment: an integrative data analysis comparing cannabis and alcohol from three Australasian cohorts, Drug and alcohol dependence, vol. 156, pp. 90-96, doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.034.

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Title Adolescent substance use and educational attainment: an integrative data analysis comparing cannabis and alcohol from three Australasian cohorts
Author(s) Silins, Edmund
Fergusson, David M.
Patton, George C.
Horwood, L. John
Olsson, Craig A.ORCID iD for Olsson, Craig A. orcid.org/0000-0002-5927-2014
Hutchinson, Delyse M.ORCID iD for Hutchinson, Delyse M. orcid.org/0000-0003-3221-7143
Degenhardt, Louisa
Tait, Robert J.
Borschmann, Rohan
Coffey, Carolyn
Toumbourou, John W.ORCID iD for Toumbourou, John W. orcid.org/0000-0002-8431-3762
Najman, Jake M.
Mattick, Richard P.
Journal name Drug and alcohol dependence
Volume number 156
Start page 90
End page 96
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-11-01
ISSN 0376-8716
1879-0046
Keyword(s) Adolescence
Alcohol
Cannabis
Educational outcomes
Summary BACKGROUND: The relative contributions of cannabis and alcohol use to educational outcomes are unclear. We examined the extent to which adolescent cannabis or alcohol use predicts educational attainment in emerging adulthood. METHODS: Participant-level data were integrated from three longitudinal studies from Australia and New Zealand (Australian Temperament Project, Christchurch Health and Development Study, and Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study). The number of participants varied by analysis (N=2179-3678) and were assessed on multiple occasions between ages 13 and 25. We described the association between frequency of cannabis or alcohol use prior to age 17 and high school non-completion, university non-enrolment, and degree non-attainment by age 25. Two other measures of alcohol use in adolescence were also examined. RESULTS: After covariate adjustment using a propensity score approach, adolescent cannabis use (weekly+) was associated with 1½ to two-fold increases in the odds of high school non-completion (OR=1.60, 95% CI=1.09-2.35), university non-enrolment (OR=1.51, 95% CI=1.06-2.13), and degree non-attainment (OR=1.96, 95% CI=1.36-2.81). In contrast, adjusted associations for all measures of adolescent alcohol use were inconsistent and weaker. Attributable risk estimates indicated adolescent cannabis use accounted for a greater proportion of the overall rate of non-progression with formal education than adolescent alcohol use. CONCLUSIONS: Findings are important to the debate about the relative harms of cannabis and alcohol use. Adolescent cannabis use is a better marker of lower educational attainment than adolescent alcohol use and identifies an important target population for preventive intervention.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.034
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID ARC DP 130101459
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078854

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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