Friday, July 26, 2019

Marijuana and Teen Use Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Marijuana and Teen Use - Essay Example Thirteen percent of the teen smokers smoked marijuana before cigarettes. Interestingly, more than three quarters of the African American adolescent smokers reported marijuana use before tobacco use. Anecdotal reports have suggested that this practice exists among youth. It is possible that marijuana is more readily accessible to African American than European American teens (SAMHSA, 2001), especially with the increased use of "blunts" (gutted cigars filled with marijuana) in African American communities (Ford, Hong, & Anthony, 2002). The family and peer group have been identified as two of the most important elements in understanding adolescent marijuana use. While the results are not unequivocal, research has largely demonstrated that associating with peers who use illicit substances is one of the strongest predictors of adolescent marijuana use. Parental influences have also been found to be significant predictors of teen alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, including the nature of parental supervision and monitoring, the quality of parental-child attachment, and the history of parental substance use. "It is not clear how early use of marijuana might be related to later substance problems. Although this study suggests that genetic and environmental factors alone cannot explain the risk, Lynskey and Heath say those factors clearly play some role. They believe it also is likely that people who use marijuana at a young age may be more likely to be involved in a lifestyle that will put them at increased risk for a whol e range of problems." (Lynskey & Heath, 2003) "There is something about tobacco that if parents smoke, their kids are more likely to smoke. It may be that parents who smoke might leave cigarettes around where their children can see and get to them. Parents may not leave marijuana and alcohol around in the same way." ( In addition to the direct associations that peer and parenting factors have with adolescent marijuana use, recent research has explored whether there exist mediating or moderating effects between the two sets of factors. Indeed, some evidence exists that controlling for peer use does mediate the association between adolescent peer use and related family process variables, such as parental attachment, discipline, and supervision. Some have interpreted this mediation effect as evidence that peer influences are part of an intervening chain of relations that stem from differences in family processes (e.g., supervision, discipline, parental attachment), which ultimately increase the risk of adolescen t marijuana use. In fact, some research suggests that the quality of parenting predicts the level of exposure to delinquent friends the stronger the quality of parenting, the less likely the teen is to have access to deviant peers or to select them as friends. "In general, the marijuana-users were more behaviorally deviant, less involved with school and had friends their parents didn't like, the researchers found". (Anita, 2006) Indeed, the prevailing explanations of how and why family structure is associated with adolescent marijuana use reinforce the notion that family structure

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