Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment

Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Marijuana Use: The Role of Depressive Symptoms

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Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 2015:Suppl. 1 69-76

Original Research

Published on 28 Aug 2016

DOI: 10.4137/SART.S31432

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Objective: The present study sought to examine the relations among disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs; ie, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], conduct disorder [CD], oppositional defiant disorder [ODD]), depressive symptoms, and marijuana use among a sample of late adolescents and emerging adults.

Method: A total of 900 students (75.8% female, 80.3% Caucasian, M[age] = 20) from a large public university completed an online survey.

Results: Findings indicated that depressive symptoms mediated the relation between the marijuana use and past symptoms of ADHD, past diagnosis of ADHD, CD symptoms, CD diagnosis, and ODD diagnosis.

Conclusion: Depressive symptoms represent a link between DBDs and marijuana use that is suggested, but not well documented in the existing literature. The current findings add to this evidence and suggest a need to assess individuals presenting with symptoms of DBDs for depressive symptoms, as this symptom pattern may result in a greater likelihood of marijuana use.




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