Recent research has indicated that onset age of marijuana use can impact development and educational outcomes. A new study investigated factors that lead to early marijuana use and the consequences that resulted. This study focused on college degree attainment, gender, and parental education as factors impacting marijuana use.
This study used data from a longitudinal study called Monitoring the Future, which surveys students throughout high school and college each year. The sample that was analyzed only included students who initiated marijuana use before the age of 22.
The data showed that as age of first marijuana use increased, so did likelihood of college degree completion. Within those who began using marijuana at age 22, 68.2% had received a college degree by age 25/26, while this number was only 16.4% in those who began to use marijuana at age 12 or younger. Gender did not play a role in degree attainment across all ages of onset use.
For those who began to use marijuana at ages 16-19, individuals were significantly more likely to obtain a college degree if at least one of their parents had completed college. For those who began using at age 22, parental education did not have a factor on their own educational outcomes.
This research shows the potential negative educational consequences of using marijuana at a young age, and the strong impact that parental education can have as well.
Take Away: Age of onset marijuana use and parental education levels paly a role in college degree attainment in students who use marijuana. Those who began using at age 22 and/or whose parents had completed a college degree are more likely to obtain a degree themselves.
Linden-Carmichael, A.N., Kloska, D.D., Evans-Polce, R., et al. (2018). College degree attainment by age of first marijuana use and parental education. Substance Abuse. doi.org/10.1080/08897077.2018.1521354