Tell me who your friends are?! The mediating role of friends use in cannabis abuse

Paulo C. Dias*, Sílvia Lopes, José Antonio Garcia del Castillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the relationship between onset age of cannabis use and cannabis abuse testing the mediating role of the number of friends using cannabis with a sample of Portuguese cannabis users. Comparing men and women regarding these relationships. Method: A sample of 529 Portuguese cannabis users, composed of 276 men and 244 women, aged from 14 to 21 years, completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Cannabis Abuse Screening Test and four questions related to cannabis use. Data were analyzed using the PROCESS macro in SPSS version 26.0. Results: The onset age of cannabis use was negatively related to the number of friends using cannabis, while the number of friends using cannabis showed a positive relationship with cannabis abuse. As predicted, the number of friends using cannabis seems to have a mediating role in the relationship between the onset age of cannabis use and cannabis abuse since the indirect effect was found to be significant. The pattern of the relationships among the variables observed was found to be similar both for the male and women' samples. However, males reported higher cannabis abuse than females. Conclusion: Results highlight the mediating role of the friends' using cannabis in the relationship between the onset age of cannabis use and users' abuse. Results highlight the importance of early intervention to cannabis use. Particularly, the pattern of the relationships observed among the studied variables emphasized the need to monitor and peer training intervention or the promotion of social skills.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Cannabis abuse
  • Friends using cannabis
  • Mediation
  • Onset age

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