UNIVERSITY _Toc531252273 h 2Risk Factors within Peer

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Adolescent Marijuana Use and the Associated Risk Factors
Melanie Small
The University of the Southern Caribbean
29th November, 2018.

TOC o “1-3” h z u Adolescent Marijuana Use and the Associated Risk Factors. PAGEREF _Toc531252272 h 2Forms of Marijuana Used PAGEREF _Toc531252273 h 2Risk Factors within Peer Groups, Families and Neighborhoods PAGEREF _Toc531252274 h 3Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc531252275 h 3References PAGEREF _Toc531252276 h 4
Adolescent Marijuana Use and the Associated Risk Factors.Marijuana use has become an increasingly prevalent issue among adolescents, teens and young adults. More and more adolescents have begun to state that they use marijuana in different forms regularly, even seeing it as normal. Factors such as socioeconomic status, parental monitoring, family structure and environmental factors also have been suspected to be linked to adolescent marijuana use. The purpose of this paper is to explore the issue of marijuana use among adolescents and discuss the different factors that may influence its use.

Forms of Marijuana UsedMarijuana can be ingested in many different forms. According to research done by Friese, Slater, & Battle (Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017), marijuana infused food products also known as edibles are consumed by many adolescents. The most popular form of edible is the brownie but other forms of edibles include cookies, candies and cupcakes CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017). This form of marijuana can be easily accessed in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. Friese, Slater, Annechino, & Battle (2016) found that youth obtained edibles from other students who either made them at home or who resold the ones the obtained from dispensaries. The accessibility of these edibles may be connected to the high use of marijuana among adolescents. Of the participants surveyed by Friese, Slater & Battle (2017), results showes that edible users were heavier marijuana useres than non edible users as well as more likely to have used marijuana both within the last month and on school property. Frequent use of marijuana has thus been linked to the use of edibles as opposed to other means such as smoking CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017).

Risk Factors Peers and Social Groups
During the teenage years it is common knowledge that adolescents are incredibly friend focused. They stop taking cues from their parents and instead become influenced by their peers, whether those peers are close friends, aquaintances or classmates. When their friends follow new trends, adolescents tend to fall in line. In this way peer influence is a major factor in what kinds of behaviours an adolescent may display.

Research has shown that in relation to adolescent substance abuse, peer groups have a strong relationship with adolescent behaviour CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, & Dwyer, 2011). It is difficult to estimate these peer effects however, since most adolescents actively choose who they associate with. This means that while the choice of their peers in relation to behaviour could be based off similarites between individuals, peer influence implies that the relationship is actually because of the behaviours of those peers CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, & Dwyer, 2011). By this information would it be fair to assume that if the peers of the adolescent are using marijuana, he/she could be influenced as well? The research actually showed that “an increase in the proportion of close friends and classmates who uses marijuana by ten percent will increase the likelihood of individual marijuana use by approximately five percent…” CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, & Dwyer, 2011). So yes, if more and more of the adolescent’s peers have been using marjuana, they can definitely be influenced into using marijuana too.
In addition to this, the study showed that both close friends and acquainted classmates can have a similar influence on adolescent marijuana use CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer, 2011). This means that an individual does not have to be a close friend to an adolsecent to have an influence on whether or not they use marijuana. In fact, they can be another classmate that told them about it, or that they see doing it and thus become curious enough to try it. Interestingly, adolescent marijuana use was found to be common regardless of their socioeconomic status CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, ; Johnson, 2017).
Families and Neighbourhoods
In addition to peer groups at school, family members and people in their neighborhood can also influence an adolescent. Milliren, et al (2017), did find results that suggest that there are in fact school and neighborhood contributions to the use of marijuana during adolescence that may predict marijuana use into young adulthood. The research shows that “neither school level nor neighborhood level socioeconomic status factors were linked to marijuana use” CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, ; Johnson, 2017).
There may be a more of a connection between family and adolescent marijuana use. Oshi, et al (2017) conducted research on how the structure of families as well as parental monitoring was associated with adolescent marijuana use in the country of Jamaica. This study indicated that adolescent usage of marijuana does not only occur in the United States of America but in other parts of the world as well. According to Oshi, et al. (2017), “parental monitoring of adolescents’ school activities did significantly protect against the lifetime use of marijuana according to the researchers”
ConclusionThe research on this topic provides insight into the global issue of adolescent marijuana use. It is observable that edible forms of marijuana have a higher rate of intake than simply smoking the drug and can lead to frequent or excessive marijuana ingestion CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer, 2011). In addition, although peer groups of close friends and classmates can influence marijuana use in adolescents CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, ; Dwyer, 2011), parental monitoring of the adolescent’s activities can function as a protective factor against adolescent marijuana use CITATION DCO17 l 1033 (Oshi, et al., 2017). All in all, it is clear to see that not only is adolescent marijuana use present both in the Caribbean and the United States, but that many environmental factors can contribute or be possible risk factors toward marijuana use in these adolescents.

References BIBLIOGRAPHY Ali, M. M., Amialchuk, A., & Dwyer, D. S. (2011). The Social Contagion Effect of Marijuana Use among. PLosONE.

Friese, B., Slater, M. D., & Battle, R. S. (2017). Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California. Journal of Primary Prevention, 279-294.

Friese, B., Slater, M. D., Annechino, R., & Battle, R. S. (2016). Teen Use of Marijuana Edibles: A Focus Group Study of an Emerging Issue. Journal of Primary Prevention, 303-309.

Milliren, C. E., Richmond, T. K., Evans, C. R., Dunn, E. C., & Johnson, R. M. (2017). Contextual Effects of Neighborhoods and Schools on Adolescent and Young Adult Marijuana Use in the United States. Substance Abuse Reseaerch and Treatment, 1-10.

Oshi, D. C., Abel, W. D., Ricketts-Roomes, T., Agu, C. F., Oshi, S., Harrison, J., . . . Ukwaja, K. N. (2017). Family Structure, Parental Monitoring and Marijuana Use among Adolescents. West Indian Medical Journal, 536-545.

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