Powered by The Ohio State University

News & Research

Marijuana knowledge, confidence in knowledge, and information efficacy as the protective and risk factors of marijuana use among college students

Research has shown that marijuana initiation is at its highest around age 18. This means marijuana use behaviors are more than likely started between high school and young adulthood. The current study looks at marijuana knowledge such as perceived risk, peer norms, confidence in marijuana knowledge, and marijuana information efficacy as it relates to marijuana use.

The study was completed in a state where recreational marijuana is legal for those over the age of 21 with a final sample size of 215 students. The student’s marijuana knowledge was assessed by asking about marijuana laws, health effects, campus policy and culture, and social issues. Marijuana perceptions were measured by asking participants questions such as “How much do you think people risk harming themselves, if they try marijuana once or twice/use marijuana occasionally/use marijuana regularly?” Marijuana information literacy variables were measured by asking students about their confidence in their understanding of different aspects of marijuana. Finally, marijuana use was measured by asking students about their current use, intentions to use, and marijuana resistance.

Results showed that knowledge was a predictor of perceived risk and that higher perceived risk was correlated to lower marijuana use. Another finding was that higher confidence in knowledge was related to higher marijuana use. Students with past marijuana use were more likely to have future intentions to use and higher marijuana use was related to lower self-efficacy in marijuana resistance. Marijuana use and information efficacy was also related to student’s intention to vote for legalization of the substance. These results show that interventions may benefit from addressing students’ misplaced confidence in their knowledge surrounding marijuana use.

Take Away: The current study looks at marijuana knowledge such as perceived risk, peer norms, confidence in marijuana knowledge, and marijuana information efficacy as it relates to marijuana use. The study included 215 students and was completed in a state with legalized recreational marijuana use for those over the age of 21. Measures included marijuana knowledge, marijuana perceptions, marijuana information literacy, and marijuana use. Results showed students more knowledgeable about marijuana were less likely to use it and those who considered themselves well-informed about it were more likely to use. These results show that interventions may benefit from addressing students’ misplaced confidence in their knowledge surrounding marijuana use.

Park, S., Ryu, S. Y., Constantino, N., Yun, G. W., Jennings, E., & Fred, D. (2020). Marijuana knowledge, confidence in knowledge, and information efficacy as the protective and risk factors of marijuana use among college students. Journal of American College Health, 1-8. doi:10.1080/07448481.2020.1751171

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Our Founding Partners