Explaining associations between cannabis use disorders in adolescence and later major depression: A test of the psychosocial failure model

Naomi R. Marmorstein, William G. Iacono

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39 Scopus citations


Aims: Cannabis use disorders (CUDs) in adolescence are associated with increased risk for later major depressive disorder (MDD). The goal of this study was to examine the "psychosocial failure" explanation for this association: the possibility that psychosocial consequences of CUDs in adolescence account for the increased risk for later MDD. Methods: Participants (n= 1252) were drawn from the community-based sample of the Minnesota Twin Family Study and were assessed at ages 17, 20, and 24. CUDs and MDD were assessed via structured interview. "Psychosocial failure" was defined as educational failure (high school dropout), occupational failure (persistent unemployment), or engagement in crime. Results: Psychosocial failure partially mediated the association between CUDs in adolescence and later MDD. Conclusions: The adverse psychosocial consequences of CUDs in adolescence partially - but not fully - account for the observed association between early CUDs and later MDD.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)773-776
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Adolescence
  • Cannabis abuse
  • Cannabis dependence
  • Longitudinal
  • Major depression
  • Mediation

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