Young adult perceptions of cannabis use

Harris-Lane, Laura (2019) Young adult perceptions of cannabis use. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (939kB)


In Canada, adolescents and young adults consume more cannabis than any other age group. Despite adolescents and young adults being particularly vulnerable to cannabis use related harms, research suggests that this age group often holds misconceptions about possible harms associated with cannabis use. The primary purpose of this study was to examine young adults’ perceived dangerousness of regular cannabis use and the extent to which perceptions of dangerousness differs depending on the age (14, 21, or 28 years) and sex (male or female) of the cannabis user. Participants (N = 656) between the ages of 18 to 25 years completed an online survey that utilized an experimental vignette design whereby participants were randomly assigned one of six vignettes depicting a character who used cannabis regularly and based on their assigned vignette were asked to rate seven items of perceived dangerousness. A series of ANOVAs showed a significant main effect of age on six of seven items. Post hoc tests revealed that cannabis use by a 14-year-old was viewed as significantly more dangerous than cannabis use by a 21 and 28-year-old. However, cannabis use by a 21-year-old was not viewed as significantly more dangerous than cannabis use by a 28-year-old. Female cannabis use was perceived as more dangerous than male cannabis use in respect to social well-being. An inverse relationship between Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test (CUDIT) score and perceived dangerousness was also found. Overall, these findings suggest that young adults may not fully appreciate the potential harms associated with regular cannabis use in their age cohort and that this may be particularly true of those having experienced adverse consequences associated with their own cannabis use.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14006
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 38-53).
Keywords: cannabis use, young adults, perceived dangerousness
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: August 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Marijuana--Public opinion; Youth--Drug use

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics