Marijuana Use from Adolescence to Young Adulthood

Multiple Developmental Trajectories and Their Associated Outcomes

by Phyllis L. Ellickson, Steven Martino, Rebecca L. Collins

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This study used latent growth mixture modeling to identify discrete developmental patterns of marijuana use from early adolescence (age 13) to young adulthood (age 23) among a sample of 5,833 individuals. After the a priori removal of abstainers, 4 trajectory groups were identified: early high users, who decreased from a relatively high level of use at age 13 to a more moderate level: stable light users, who maintained a low level of use: steady increasers, who consistently increased use; and occasional light users, who began use at age 14 and used at low levels thereafter. Analyses of covariance comparing the trajectory groups on behavioral, socioeconomic, and health outcomes at age 29 revealed that abstainers consistently had the most favorable outcomes, whereas early high users consistently had the least favorable outcomes.

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Originally published in: Health Psychology, v. 23, no. 2, May 2004, pp. 299-307.

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