Getting High or Getting By? An Examination of Cannabis Motives, Cannabis Misuse, and Concurrent Psychopathology in a Sample of General Community Adults Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: Few studies have examined cannabis motives in adults and, although associations between cannabis use and psychiatric conditions are well documented, there has been limited investigation of the intersection of cannabis use, cannabis motives, and psychopathology. In a sample of community adults, the present study examined cannabis motives in relation to cannabis misuse, and investigated whether motives linked cannabis misuse with concurrent psychiatric symptoms. METHOD: Participants (N = 395; Mage = 34.8; %F = 47.6; % White = 81.3%) completed assessments related to cannabis misuse, cannabis use motives, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and somatic experiences. Bivariate correlations, hierarchical regressions, and indirect effect analyses were performed to examine associations between motives and cannabis misuse and to investigate mechanistic relationships between psychiatric symptoms and cannabis misuse. RESULTS: Regressions revealed significant associations between cannabis misuse and social (β = .13, P < .02), enhancement (β = .12, P < .02), and coping motives (β = .48, P < .001). Indirect effects were present such that coping motives consistently linked psychiatric and somatic symptoms with cannabis misuse (anxiety: unstandardized effect = 0.26,and 95% CI = 0.17-0.37; depression: unstandardized effect = 0.12, CI = 0.11-0.25; PTSD: unstandardized effect = 0.07, CI = 0.04-0.10; somatic symptoms: unstandardized effect = 0.20, CI = 0.11-0.30). In addition, enhancement motives exhibited an indirect effect (unstandardized effect = 0.02, CI = 0.002-0.04) between depressive symptoms and cannabis misuse. CONCLUSION: These results support a negative reinforcement motivational profile as the predominant pattern in adult cannabis users, albeit with links to enhancement and social motives. This motivational profile is especially pronounced with regard to comorbid psychopathology and cannabis misuse. These results support the importance of treatment strategies targeting maladaptive coping to address cannabis misuse and co-occurring psychopathology.

publication date

  • January 2022