Motives for cannabis use as a moderator variable of distress among young adults

; ; ; (). Motives for cannabis use as a moderator variable of distress among young adults. Addictive Behaviors, 32. 1537. Peer reviewed.

This study examined the moderating effect of social and coping motives on distress among young cannabis-using adults. A random sample of 2031 young Swiss adults was interviewed by means of a computer-assisted telephone interview. Cannabis users showed more distress, less positive health behaviour and higher hedonism compared to nonusers. Taking motive for use as amoderator variable into consideration, it became evident that only cannabis users with copingmotives showed lower mental health,more symptoms of psychopathology,more psychosocial distress and more life events than non-users. Young adults with social motives for use on the other hand did not differ from non-users in terms of distress. These differences between cannabis users with social and those with coping motives remained stable over two years. In both subgroups, participants with regular cannabis use at baseline did not increase distress nor did participants with higher distress at baseline increase the frequency of their cannabis use. Our results suggest that secondary prevention for cannabis users should target especially young adults with coping motives for use.