Advisory Committee Chair
Advisory Committee Members
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States, and the prevalence of cannabis use has increased in recent years following changes in. One method that has become increasingly popular among adolescents is vaporized cannabis. Current research appears to be contradictory, whereas some studies indicate that vaporized cannabis use can boost mood, other investigations have indicated that vaporized cannabis use is associated with an increase in depressive symptoms. A limited number of research studies have also identified a relationship between cannabis use and anhedonia, however, this relationship is unclear, particularly among adolescents. Due to the reported adverse effects of cannabis use on the developing brain, as well as the negative clinical outcomes associated with the presence of anhedonia, it is important to better understand the relationship between anhedonia and vaporized cannabis use among adolescents. The first aim of the study was to identify if any specific socio-demographic characteristics predicted lifetime vaporized cannabis use. Using data from over 3,000 adolescents who participated in the longitudinal Happiness and Health Study, a binomial logistic regression was conducted. Results concluded that participants who identified as male, Asian, and had parents with lower levels of education (low-SES) were more likely to ever use vaporized cannabis. The second aim was to interrogate the causal relationships between vaporized cannabis use and anhedonia in adolescents. Random iv intercept cross-lagged models were used to study this relationship while controlling for several individual characteristics such as other concurrent substance use and demographics. The results indicate that, when controlling for socio-demographic variables, anhedonia (Wave 4) is significantly associated with vaporized cannabis use at Time 2 (Wave 6), and vaporized cannabis use at Time 2 is associated with anhedonia at Time 3 (Wave 8). The results from the current study contribute to a better understanding of the association between anhedonia and vaporized cannabis use in adolescents. Specifically, the results indicate those who report elevated feelings of anhedonia are more likely to have increased vaporized cannabis use, which may in turn contribute to future anhedonia.
Ortiz, Cynthia Estrella, "Examination of the Bidirectional Relationship Between Anhedonia and Vaporized Cannabis Use in Adolescents: A Longitudinal Cohort Analysis" (2022). All ETDs from UAB. 131.