Home > Do societal wealth, family affluence and gender account for trends in adolescent cannabis use? A 30 country cross-national study.

Ter Bogt, Tom F M and de Looze, Margreet and Molcho, Michal and Godeau, Emmanuelle and Hublet, Anne and Kokkevi, Anna and Kuntsche, Emmanuel and Nic Gabhainn, Saoirse and Franelic, Iva Pejnovic and Simons-Morton, Bruce and Sznitman, Sharon and Vieno, Alessio and Vollebergh, W and Pickett, William (2014) Do societal wealth, family affluence and gender account for trends in adolescent cannabis use? A 30 country cross-national study. Addiction , 109 , (2) , pp. 273-283.

Purpose: To examine cross-national changes in frequent adolescent cannabis use (40+ times consumed over life-time at age 15) over time and relate these trends to societal wealth, family affluence and gender.

Setting: Representative surveys in 30 European and North American countries.

Participants: A total of 160 606 15-year-old students.

Measurements:
Respondents' life-time cannabis use, demographics, family affluence (FAS) and frequency of peer contacts were measured individually. Indicators of wealth (gross domestic product per capita, GDP) and perceived availability of cannabis were obtained from national public data bases.

Findings:
The frequency of life-time cannabis use decreased over time among adolescents in Europe and North America, particularly in western European countries and the United States (relative risk (RR) = 0.86: confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.93). This trend was not observed consistently in rapidly developing countries in eastern, central and southern Europe. Over time (2002–10), cannabis use became: (i) less characteristic of high GDP countries in contrast to lower GDP countries (RR = 0.74: CI 0.57–0.95); (ii) less characteristic of youth from high FAS families in contrast to youth from low FAS families (RR = 0.83: CI 0.72–0.96); and (iii) characterized by an increasing gender gap, i.e. consumption was higher among males (RR 1.26: CI 1.04–1.53). Perceived availability of cannabis and peer contacts remained strong predictors of frequent cannabis use.

Conclusions:
Among 30 European and North American countries, cannabis use appears to have ‘trickled down’ over time, with developing countries taking on the former (heavier) use pattern of richer countries, and less affluent youth taking on the former (heavier) use pattern of more affluent youth. Cannabis use continues to be more common among adolescent males than females.


Item Type:Article
Date:2014
Page Range:pp. 273-283
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Volume:109
Number:2
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:L Social psychology and related concepts > Marital relations > Family and kinship > Family relations > Family role
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors > Risk factors
B Substances > Cannabis / Marijuana
VA Geographic area > Africa
T Demographic characteristics > Gender differences
MA-ML Social science, culture and community > Social condition > Poverty
VA Geographic area > Europe
L Social psychology and related concepts > Marital relations > Family and kinship > Family environment > Family background
F Concepts in psychology > Specific attitude and behaviour > risk-taking behaviour
L Social psychology and related concepts > Economic availability or accessibility
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence

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