Marijuana use among traumatic event-exposed adolescents: Posttraumatic stress symptom frequency predicts coping motivations for use

Sarah J. Bujarski, Matthew T. Feldner, Sarah F. Lewis, Kimberly A. Babson, Casey D. Trainor, Ellen Leen-Feldner, Christal L. Badour, Marcel O. Bonn-Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contemporary comorbidity theory postulates that people suffering from posttraumatic stress symptoms may use substances to cope with negative affect generally and posttraumatic stress symptoms specifically. The present study involves the examination of the unique relation between past two-week posttraumatic stress symptom frequency and motives for marijuana use after accounting for general levels of negative affectivity as well as variability associated with gender. Participants were 61 marijuana-using adolescents (M age=15.81) who reported experiencing lifetime exposure to at least one traumatic event. Consistent with predictions, past two-week posttraumatic stress symptoms significantly predicted coping motives for marijuana use and were not associated with social, enhancement, or conformity motives for use. These findings are consistent with theoretical work suggesting people suffering from posttraumatic stress use substances to regulate symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Coping
  • Marijuana
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Substance use
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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