Authors: Daniel Moolchand, Ali M. Yurasek, Ph.D., Ricarda K. Pritschmann, M.S.
Faculty Mentor: Ali M. Yurasek, Ph.D
College: College of Health and Human Performance
Background: Recent research demonstrates an increase in cannabis use among adolescents. These increased prevalence rates coupled with the negative consequences associated with early cannabis use, highlights the need for more research examining risk factors and predictors of use in this population. Behavioral economic theory suggests that contextual factors such as socioeconomic status, neighborhood characteristics, and the availability of non-substance involved activities are related to substance use. This in-progress study aims to examine the relationship between environmental factors (including recreational facilities, neighborhood surroundings, and crime) and problematic cannabis use in cannabis using, truant adolescents. Method: To date, 14 truant adolescents (MAge=15.2, 85.7% female) have completed the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS-Y) to determine which environmental factors are associated with their neighborhood. Participants indicate whether statements are true or false for their neighborhood using a Likert rating (1 = strongly disagree; 4 = agree), and distance to recreational facilities. Pearson’s correlations will be used to examine the associations between the proposed variables. Expected Results: Adolescents who score higher on the NEWS-Y scale will report more cannabis use and cannabis use disorder symptoms. Findings from this study can be used to identify potentially modifiable targets for intervention and prevention programs.