Are Drinking Cognitions Associated with Marijuana and Concurrent Alcohol and Marijuana Use among Adolescents and Young Adults?


Concurrent use of alcohol and marijuana (i.e., CAM use) is the most common poly-drug use pattern among adolescents and young adults and is associated with negative outcomes. Research indicates that Prototype Willingness Model (PWM) drinking cognitions are associated with alcohol use. This secondary analysis was conducted to explore cross-sectional associations between PWM drinking cognitions, alcohol, marijuana, and CAM use.


Adolescents and young adults between 15-25 years (N = 124, M age = 18.7) completed a baseline assessment as part of a larger study, including questions on alcohol and marijuana use, and PWM drinking cognitions.


In the social reaction pathway, descriptive norms, perceived vulnerability, and prototype favorability, but not willingness were associated with greater alcohol use, whereas in the reasoned pathway attitudes and intentions were associated with frequency of drinking whereas injunctive norms were not. Both willingness and intention to drink were related to marijuana and CAM use when controlling for alcohol use frequency. Greater willingness to drink was the only significant predictor of marijuana use, and only descriptive norms predicted CAM use. However, of the cognitions within the reasoned pathway, greater attitudes toward drinking and drinking intention were related to greater marijuana and CAM use. Results also indicated that CAM users displayed higher levels of certain risk cognitions than non-users or single substance users.


Findings support and extend the utility of the PWM by indicating that specific alcohol cognitions are associated with alcohol, marijuana, and CAM use in adolescents and young adults.


adolescents; alcohol; marijuana; prototype willingness model; young adults.

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