Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://une.intersearch.com.au/unejspui/handle/1959.11/2356
Title: The Cannabis Experience and Everyday Functioning
Contributor(s): Temple, Elizabeth (author)orcid ; Hine, Donald (supervisor); Brown, Rhonda (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2009
Copyright Date: 2008
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/2356
Abstract: With approximately 159 million users, cannabis is widely cited as the most commonly used illicit substance in the world. Although the vast majority of cannabis users are non-treatment-seeking, this group of users is relatively under researched. It is probable that the disparate cannabis use-related effects seen in society are in some way related to the heterogeneity of these users and their divergent patterns of cannabis use. Further, the associations between cannabis use and psychopathology and cognitive function have not been definitively delineated, and the actual impact of cannabis use on the everyday functioning of users has not been determined. A total of 989 participants (62% male; age range: 18-73 years; M = 29.6 years, SD = 11.7) were recruited to the present study to address these issues. Participants were 16 years old on average when they first used cannabis and had been using for a mean of 13 years, 42% were current daily users, and 13% met criteria for proxy cannabis dependence. High levels of psychopathology and cognitive failures were evident in the sample population (i.e., 19% depression, 6% high psychotic symptomology, 14% high cognitive failures); with 28% of participants likely to experience some level of impairment in their everyday functioning. The five cannabis user types identified in the present study in relation to their motives and context of use were found to differ in relation to patterns of cannabis use, demographics, current and childhood lifestyles, and, everyday functioning. Avid users were the most likely to have some level of impairment, with 46% affected, in comparison to 29% of State Changers, 20% of Self-Medicators, 17% of Fun Seekers, and 16% of Social Users. However, these levels of impairment were primarily unrelated to cannabis use factors, which explained only small proportions of the variance in psychopathology and cognitive function variable scores, and were typically no longer significantly associated after controlling for other factors. These results indicate a lack of direct association between cannabis use and psychopathology, but use may exacerbate pre-existing conditions. Cognitive impairment was primarily explained by current psychopathology. The high level of impairment evident in the sample population, particularly Avid Users and State Changers, indicates that these individuals would benefit from psychological treatment. Further, the detailed user typology developed in the present study lends itself to the tailoring of appropriate holistic preventative, early intervention, and treatment strategies and services for cannabis users.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
Rights Statement: Copyright 2008 - Elizabeth Clare Temple
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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