Adolescents’ views on preventing youth cannabis marketing exposure: A concept mapping approach


Objective:

The increasing number of states legalizing recreational cannabis use have raised growing concerns about exposure and access to cannabis for youth. The objective of this study was to develop an adolescent stakeholder-driven Concept Map towards identifying priority areas for preventing youth cannabis marketing influence.


Methods:

This study utilized Concept Mapping, a validated research method that leverages both qualitative and quantitative approaches to integrate stakeholder input on complex topics. We recruited adolescents for the five steps of Concept Mapping: preparation, generation, structuring, representation, and interpretation. Analysis included hierarchical cluster analysis to develop a Concept Map representing approaches to protect youth from the influence of cannabis marketing, and youth focus groups to interpret the Concept Map.


Results:

A total of 208 participants contributed to the study, including 74.0% females, 62.0% Caucasian, and 38.9% with previous cannabis use. There were 119 brainstorming items generated and sorted into a Concept Map that included 8 clusters. Clusters represented existing approaches, including education and regulation, and novel approaches, such as changing interpersonal communication and media norms around cannabis. Youth prioritized education-based approaches, including “showing both positive and negative effects of marijuana.”


Conclusions:

This study leveraged adolescent input towards a stakeholder-driven Concept Map focused on prevention of youth cannabis use. Based on this Concept Map, there are existing and novel approaches to improve current efforts. The Concept Map brings adolescent voices forward to advance research, educational and policy efforts.

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