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Marijuana use trajectories and academic outcomes among college students.
Drug Alcohol Depend 2016; 162:137-45DA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug by college students. Prior studies have established an association between marijuana use and poor academic performance in college, but research on the frequency of marijuana use over the entire college career is limited. The study objective was to examine the association of marijuana use trajectories on academic outcomes, including senior year enrollment, plans to graduate on time, and GPA.

METHODS

Data were collected from a cohort of 3146 students from 11 colleges in North Carolina and Virginia at six time points across the college career. Group-based trajectory models were used to characterize longitudinal marijuana use patterns during college. Associations between marijuana trajectory groups and academic outcomes were modeled using random-effects linear and logistic regressions.

RESULTS

Five marijuana trajectory groups were identified: non-users (69.0%), infrequent users (16.6%), decreasing users (4.7%), increasing users (5.8%), and frequent users (3.9%). Decreasing users and frequent users were more likely to drop out of college and plan to delay graduation when compared to non-users. All marijuana user groups reported lower GPAs, on average, than non-users.

CONCLUSION

These results identify marijuana use patterns that put students at risk for poor academic performance in college. Students who use marijuana frequently at the beginning of the college career are especially at risk for lower academic achievement than non-users, suggesting that early intervention is critical.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States. Electronic address: CSuerken@wakehealth.edu.Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States; Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27020322

Citation

Suerken, Cynthia K., et al. "Marijuana Use Trajectories and Academic Outcomes Among College Students." Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 162, 2016, pp. 137-45.
Suerken CK, Reboussin BA, Egan KL, et al. Marijuana use trajectories and academic outcomes among college students. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016;162:137-45.
Suerken, C. K., Reboussin, B. A., Egan, K. L., Sutfin, E. L., Wagoner, K. G., Spangler, J., & Wolfson, M. (2016). Marijuana use trajectories and academic outcomes among college students. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 162, pp. 137-45. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.02.041.
Suerken CK, et al. Marijuana Use Trajectories and Academic Outcomes Among College Students. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 May 1;162:137-45. PubMed PMID: 27020322.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Marijuana use trajectories and academic outcomes among college students. AU - Suerken,Cynthia K, AU - Reboussin,Beth A, AU - Egan,Kathleen L, AU - Sutfin,Erin L, AU - Wagoner,Kimberly G, AU - Spangler,John, AU - Wolfson,Mark, Y1 - 2016/03/19/ PY - 2015/10/15/received PY - 2016/02/26/revised PY - 2016/02/28/accepted PY - 2016/3/30/entrez PY - 2016/3/30/pubmed PY - 2016/11/11/medline KW - Academic performance KW - College students KW - Early intervention KW - Longitudinal study KW - Marijuana KW - Trajectory modeling SP - 137 EP - 45 JF - Drug and alcohol dependence JO - Drug Alcohol Depend VL - 162 N2 - BACKGROUND: Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug by college students. Prior studies have established an association between marijuana use and poor academic performance in college, but research on the frequency of marijuana use over the entire college career is limited. The study objective was to examine the association of marijuana use trajectories on academic outcomes, including senior year enrollment, plans to graduate on time, and GPA. METHODS: Data were collected from a cohort of 3146 students from 11 colleges in North Carolina and Virginia at six time points across the college career. Group-based trajectory models were used to characterize longitudinal marijuana use patterns during college. Associations between marijuana trajectory groups and academic outcomes were modeled using random-effects linear and logistic regressions. RESULTS: Five marijuana trajectory groups were identified: non-users (69.0%), infrequent users (16.6%), decreasing users (4.7%), increasing users (5.8%), and frequent users (3.9%). Decreasing users and frequent users were more likely to drop out of college and plan to delay graduation when compared to non-users. All marijuana user groups reported lower GPAs, on average, than non-users. CONCLUSION: These results identify marijuana use patterns that put students at risk for poor academic performance in college. Students who use marijuana frequently at the beginning of the college career are especially at risk for lower academic achievement than non-users, suggesting that early intervention is critical. SN - 1879-0046 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27020322/Marijuana_use_trajectories_and_academic_outcomes_among_college_students_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0376-8716(16)00140-X DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -