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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2016 Nov;77(6):881-888.

Reasons for Marijuana Use Among Young Adults and Long-Term Associations With Marijuana Use and Problems.

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Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Methodology Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.



This study examines reasons for marijuana use among young adults age 19/20 in the United States and the extent to which patterns of reasons are associated with marijuana use and problems 15 years later.


The national Monitoring the Future study provided data on marijuana users at age 19/20 who were also surveyed at age 35 (n = 2,288; 50% women; 83% White). Latent class analysis was used to identify distinct patterns of reasons for marijuana use, which were then used as predictors of later marijuana use and problems.


Five latent classes described the following patterns of reasons for marijuana use at age 19/20: Experimental, Get High + Relax, Typical, Typical + Escape, and Coping + Drug Use. Highest risk for later marijuana use and problems was found for people with Coping + Drug Use and Get High + Relax reasons in young adulthood; those with Experimental reasons were at lowest risk for later use or problems.


Coping and getting high emerged as strong predictors of later marijuana use and problems. Results support the predictive value of self-reported reasons for using marijuana among young adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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