Developmental trajectories of adolescent cannabis use and their relationship to young adult social and behavioural adjustment: a longitudinal study of Australian youth

Scholes-Balog, Kirsty E., Hemphill, Sheryl A., Evans-Whipp, Tracy J., Toumbourou, John W. and Patton, George C. 2016, Developmental trajectories of adolescent cannabis use and their relationship to young adult social and behavioural adjustment: a longitudinal study of Australian youth, Addictive behaviors, vol. 53, pp. 11-18, doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.09.008.

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Title Developmental trajectories of adolescent cannabis use and their relationship to young adult social and behavioural adjustment: a longitudinal study of Australian youth
Author(s) Scholes-Balog, Kirsty E.
Hemphill, Sheryl A.
Evans-Whipp, Tracy J.
Toumbourou, John W.ORCID iD for Toumbourou, John W. orcid.org/0000-0002-8431-3762
Patton, George C.
Journal name Addictive behaviors
Volume number 53
Start page 11
End page 18
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-02
ISSN 1873-6327
Keyword(s) Adjustment
Adolescence
Cannabis use
Longitudinal study
Trajectories
Young adulthood
Summary This study aimed to identify distinct developmental trajectories (sub-groups of individuals who showed similar longitudinal patterns) of cannabis use among Australian adolescents, and to examine associations between trajectory group membership and measures of social and behavioural adjustment in young adulthood. Participants (n=852, 53% female) were part of the International Youth Development Study. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify distinct trajectories of cannabis use frequency from average ages 12 to 19, across 6 waves of data. Logistic regression analyses and analyses of covariance were used to examine relationships between trajectory group membership and young adult (average age: 21) adjustment, controlling for a range of covariates. Three trajectories were identified: abstainers (62%), early onset users (11%), and late onset occasional users (27%). The early onset users showed a higher frequency of antisocial behaviour, violence, cannabis use, cannabis-related harms, cigarette use, and alcohol harms, compared to the abstinent group in young adulthood. The late onset occasional users reported a higher frequency of cannabis use, cannabis-related harms, illicit drug use, and alcohol harms, compared to the abstinent group in young adulthood. There were no differences between the trajectory groups on measures of employment, school completion, post-secondary education, income, depression/anxiety, or alcohol use problems. In conclusion, early onset of cannabis use, even at relatively low frequency during adolescence, is associated with poorer adjustment in young adulthood. Prevention and intervention efforts to delay or prevent uptake of cannabis use should be particularly focussed on early adolescence prior to age 12.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.09.008
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
111716 Preventive Medicine
1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID NHMRC 594793
ARC DP0663371
ARC DP0877359
ARC DP1095744
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080898

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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