Abstract

Over the past two decades, there have been significant changes in state-level policies (i.e., decriminalization, medicalization, legalization) in the U.S. regarding marijuana use. Prior research has found a relationship between marijuana policies and decreased perceived risk as well as increased prevalence of use. In light of these historical shifts, the public health implications of marijuana use deserve increased attention by researchers so that we can discern patterns of use, evaluate risk, and inform intervention. This dissertation has three aims: (1) investigate how correlates of use prevalence versus use frequency vary; (2) offer a theoretical explanation as to why more education is associated with less frequent marijuana use utilizing a specific hypothesis from Human Capital Theory, and (3) determine if the association between justice-involvement and marijuana use is mediated by social integration and poor health. Data are analyzed from 41,685 U.S. civilians; noninstitutionalized population aged 18 or older who participated in the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The NSDUH provides information on use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs as well as data on mental health among members of the noninstitutionalized population of the U.S. aged 12 years old or older. Logistic and zero-inflated negative binomial regression analysis are used to assess aims. In accordance with Aim 1, health and behavioral correlates of marijuana use vary depending on how use it quantified. Respondents who use marijuana with greater frequency, compared to those who use infrequently, are more likely to experience adverse health and behavioral associations. With regard to Aim 2, findings indicate that education allows individuals to merge health-producing behaviors into a practical, healthy lifestyle. Concerning Aim 3, justice-involvement was found to be associated with marijuana use because justice-involved people have worse health. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2020

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Ford, Jason

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Sociology

Degree Program

Sociology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008220; DP0023574

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0023574

Language

English

Release Date

August 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Sociology Commons

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