the presentation here.

Report
Examining the relationship of past year
delinquent behavior and the initiation of
marijuana in the past month among youths
aged 12 to 17 in the US
Eric Nwazue
Enyinnaya Merengwa
Georgia Sawyer
Mian B. Hossain
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the APHA
New Orleans
November 19, 2014
Presenter disclosure
Eric Nwazue

(1)The following personal financial
relationships
with
commercial
interests relevant to this presentation
existed during the past 12 months:

No relationships to disclose
Introduction
Marijuana is derived from Cannabis Sativa
(hemp) plant
 Known as pot, grass, reefer, weed, hemp, & Mary
Jane (MJ)
 Consumed by smoking dried leaves, flowers,
stems and seeds
 Brewed as tea or inhaled as vaporizer
 Mixed with brownies, cookies and lollipops
(NIDA, 2014)
 Bioavailability could range from 10-45-90 days
following use. Depends on body fat.

Active ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC). Mind altering & implicated in addiction
 Marijuana impacts every organ in the body
 Produces adverse physical, mental, behavioral and
neurological effects
 Impairs memory and judgment, and distorts
perception
 Classified as a schedule 1 drug with no medical
use and a high risk for abuse
 Currently the most illicit drug used in the U.S

Background
The challenges of adolescents are many.
 Violence, drug use and addiction contribute
significant problems of public health importance
 Marijuana use and delinquent behaviors have been
well documented. Incidence is rising:
 8th graders – 7% (2013); 5.8% (2008)
 10th graders – 18% (2013); 13.8% (2008)
 12th graders – 22.7% (2013); 19.4% (2008). 6.5%
now use daily, 5% in mid 2000 (MTF Report 2013)
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Rising marijuana use reflects changing perceptions and
attitudes
Current debate on legality has enhanced its popularity
2 states in U.S legalized for adult recreational use
21 states passed laws permitting use for medical treatment
Delinquent behaviors leading to initiation of marijuana use
is sparsely documented
Study generates information to influence knowledge,
attitude and practice
Objective
The objective of this study is to examine the
association of past year delinquent behavior with
the initiation of marijuana use in past month
among youths aged 12-17.
Data and methodology
 The data for this research are taken from 2012
National Survey on Drug Use and Health
(NSDUH), which utilized multi-stage random
probability sampling design.
 The NSDUH 2012 collected information from
residents of households and non-institutional
group quarters and from civilians living in military
bases through face to face in-home interviews
utilizing computer-based instrumentation
Data and methodology
continued
 A total of 55,268 interviews were completed
aged 12 or older
 The NSDUH excludes homeless persons who
do not use shelters, military personnel on active
duty, and people in jails and hospitals.
Excluded in this analysis:
 Those who are over 17 years old
 Those who ever smoked marijuana prior to
past month.
Hence, the current analysis consisted of 14,835
youths (out of 17,399 youths) aged 12-17.
Variables
Dependent variables:
 Initiated using marijuana in past month
(yes/no)
Primary independent variable of interest
Youths’ past year delinquent behavior, which is
constructed from six questions: Youth
 gotten into a serious fight at school/work
 taken part in group fights
 carried a handgun
 sold illegal drugs
 stolen/tried to steal anything worth >$50
 attacked someone w/intent to seriously hurt
Other independent variables
Socio-economic and behavioral indicators
 Gender (female/male)
 Age (12-13, 14-15 & 16-17 years)
 Race (whites, blacks, Hispanics & others)
 Family structure (both parent in HH, either parent in
HH & no parent in HH)
 Total family income (less than 20k, 20-49k, 50-74k, 75k
and above)
 Youths’ social activities involvement score (low, medium,
and high)
 Youths’ drug prevention program participation score
(low, medium, and high).
Definition of past month initiation of
marijuana use:
Past month initiation of marijuana use is defined
as:
Youths who never smoked or used marijuana but
initiated using marijuana for the first time in past
month.
Drug prevention program participation
scores:
(Constructed from five questions)- During the past 12
months, youth participated in:
 a problem solving, communication skills or selfesteem group
 violence prevention program
 drug prevention program outside school
 program to help drug abuse
 pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease
(STD) prevention program
Social involvement activities scores
(Constructed from four questions)- During the
past 12 months, youth participated in how
many:
 number of school-based activities
 number of community-based activities
 number of faith-based activities
 number of other activities
Analytical methods
 Adolescents’ social activities involvement score
and drug prevention participation activities scores
are constructed using factor analysis and
categorized as low, medium and high.
 Since past year marijuana initiation is
dichotomous (yes/no), different unadjusted and
adjusted logistic regression models are estimated
for predicting marijuana initiation.
 Sampling weights for complex survey design are
considered in the analyses.
Univariate Analyses Results
(characteristics of study sample)
Marijuana initiation in the past month among
youths aged 12-17, NSDUH 2012
Yes
8.0%
No
92.0%
Any delinquent behavior in the past year
among youths aged 12-17, NSDUH 2012
Yes
27.2%
No
72.8%
Distribution of gender, youths aged 1217, NSDUH 2012
Female
49.2%
Male
50.8%
Age distribution of youths aged 12-17,
NSDUH 2012
16-17
Years
32%
12-13
Years
34%
14-15
Years
34%
Distribution of race/ethnicity, youths aged 1217, NSDUH 2012
Others
9%
Hispanics
21%
Blacks
14%
Whites
56%
Family structure of youths aged 12-17,
NSDUH 2014
Either
parent in
HH
26%
No parent
in HH
3%
Both
parent in
HH
71%
Bi-variate Analyses
Chi-square test of independence
between independent variables and
the dependent variables
Independent variables
Marijuana initiation
in the past month
Past year delinquent behavior
S
Gender
NS
Age category
S
Race
S
Family income
S
Family Structure
S
Youths’ social activities involvement score
S
Youths’ drug prevention program
S
participation scores
S: significant at least 95% level
NS: not statistically significant
Marijuana initiation in the past month among youths
aged 12-17 by their delinquent behavior in the past year
16.8
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
4.7
Marijuana initiated in the past month
Involved in delinquent behavior
Not involved in delinquent behavior
Multiple logistic regression
results
Table 3. Odds Ratios and 95% confidence interval for logistic regression results for
examining the association between youths’ delinquent behavior in past 12 months
and youths’ marijuana initiation in the past month, NSDUH 2012.
Marijuana use initiation
Delinquent behavior
Yes
No (Ref.)
Gender
Female
Male (Ref.)
Age category
12-13
14-15
16-17 (Ref.)
Race
Whites (Ref.)
Blacks
Hispanics
Others
Significance: * p<0.05; ** p<0.01; *** p<0.001
Odds Ratio 95% Confidence Interval
4.95***
1.00
4.15, 5.89
-
1.09
1.00
0.92, 1.30
-
0.05***
0.31***
1.00
0.03, 0.07
0.26, 0.37
-
1.00
0.66**
0.81
0.67**
0.50, 0.86
0.63, 1.04
0.50, 0.90
Marijuana use initiation
Odds
Ratio
Family income
Less than 20,000
1.03
20,000-49,000
1.02
50,000-74,000
0.99
74,000+ (Ref.)
1.00
Family structure
Both parents in the HH (Ref.)
1.00
Either parents in the HH
1.55***
No parent in the HH
1.58*
Youths social involvement score
Low (Ref.)
1.00
Medium
0.70***
High
0.44***
Youths drug prevention participation score
Low (Ref.)
1.00
Medium
0.78
High
0.73**
Significance: * p<0.05; ** p<0.01; *** p<0.001
95% Confidence
Interval
0.78, 1.36
0.81, 1.29
0.77, 1.29
1.27, 1.89
1.03, 2.43
0.57, 0.86
0.36, 0.55
0.59, 1.04
0.59, 0.91
Summary
 Results suggest that past year youths’
involvement in delinquent behavior
enhances the likelihood of marijuana
initiation process in past month.
 Absence of parent in household plays a
role in youths’ marijuana initiation
process.
 Youths living with no parent or one
parent in the household are significantly
more likely to have initiated marijuana
use in the past month.
 Lower level of involvement in social activities and
lower level of drug prevention program
participation plays a role in youths’ marijuana
initiation process.
 Youths less involved in social activities or
participated less in drug prevention programs, are
more likely to have initiated marijuana use in the
in past month
 Black youths are significantly less likely to initiate
using marijuana compared to the whites.
 Youths between ages 14-15 are significantly less
likely to initiate marijuana use compared to
youths aged 16-17.
Conclusion
Knowledge of these relationship might be
useful in
 Developing and implementing prevention
measures for delinquent behavior and
marijuana use among adolescents and
 Determine appropriate timing for
intervention programs
 Driving policy initiative to address problems

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