Personality of young adolescents connected to cannabis use

Young adolescents in the Netherlands who display aggressive or delinquent personality traits are more likely to use cannabis in their later teenage years, a study by an expert in Education and Child Studies from the University of Leiden has revealed.

Personality or the drug itself

Merel Griffith-Lendering, the expert who conducted the study using data from 2.230 Dutch adolescents, was primarily interested in whether problem teenagers develop their behavioural issues as a result of their use of cannabis, or if it is, in fact, their personality which leads to later cannabis use.

One of the conclusions drawn was that adolescents of 11 to 13 years of age who have aggressive or antisocial personality traits tend to use cannabis more frequently than their peers between the ages of 13 to 16. As a contrast, teenagers who are of a more anxious disposition do not have such a tendency towards increased cannabis use in later years.

Predictable cannabis use

This predictable use of cannabis by problem teenagers is seen by Griffith-Lendering as a form of self-medication. She says that "Adolescents can use these drugs to feel calmer and to gain control over disturbing thoughts." She also states that this self-medicating could point to further experimentation with "sensation-seeking behaviour."

Psychosis in later years

Another correlation that was discovered was that use of cannabis at 16-years-old can increase the risk of psychosis in later years, a discovery that stands for both teenagers with and without a predilection towards psychosis. Griffith-Lendering states that "This suggests that cannabis causes neurobiological changes that can be problematic."

Source: Leiden University

Mark McDaid


Mark McDaid

Mark hails from the Emerald Isle but has been living in the land of cheese and deep-fried-indiscriminate-meat since February 2009. He can often be found trying to read through a...

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