Are Co-users of Alcohol and Marijuana More Willing to Experience Consequences From Drinking? A Longitudinal Examination Among First-Year College Students

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Abstract

Background: Alcohol and marijuana co-users are at heightened vulnerability for experiencing a variety of negative alcohol use outcomes including heavier alcohol use and driving under the influence. The current study explored willingness to experience negative consequences as a potential factor underlying the association between co-user status and negative consequences in an effort to guide future intervention work. From a longitudinal study of first-year college students, we examined willingness to experience consequences at Time 2 as a mediator of co-user status at Time 1 and experience of negative consequences at Time 3. Methods: First-year college student drinkers (n = 1,914) at a large university completed surveys in the fall and spring of their freshman year and the fall of their sophomore year. Results: Alcohol and marijuana co-users reported higher willingness to experience consequences than alcohol-only users. Willingness to experience consequences partially explained the association between alcohol and marijuana couse and consequences. Conclusions: The current study was the first to compare co-users of alcohol and marijuana to alcohol-only users on willingness to experience consequences, and examine the role of willingness as a mediator between co-user status and consequences experienced. Co-users were more willing to experience adverse effects from drinking, in turn predicting more consequences. Intervention work targeting consequences may be less effective for co-users; thus, additional work is needed to identify other potential mechanisms for change for this at-risk group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1567-1574
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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