Contemporary Patterns of Marijuana Use and Attitudes Among High School Seniors: 2010–2016

Jessica L. Braymiller, Loren D. Masters, Ashley N. Linden-Carmichael, Stephanie T. Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of this study was to examine changes in contemporary patterns of marijuana use and attitudes over time. Given shifts in state-by-state marijuana legislation, there is a reason to believe that the patterns of high school seniors’ marijuana use behavior and attitudes about use have changed from 2010 to 2016. Methods: Data are from high school seniors in the 2010–2016 waves of Monitoring the Future, a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey in the United States. Latent class analysis was used to determine underlying patterns of marijuana use and related attitudes. Differences in latent class membership were examined across years, and gender and race/ethnicity were also examined. Results: Five latent classes were identified: Intolerant Nonusers (49% of the sample), Tolerant Nonusers (12%), Disapproving Users (7%), Experimenters (6%), and Marijuana Enthusiasts (26%). Class prevalences remained relatively stable from 2010 to 2013; beginning in 2014 a significant decrease in prevalence was observed for Intolerant Nonusers and significant increases in prevalence were observed for Tolerant Nonusers and Marijuana Enthusiasts. Membership in the Marijuana Enthusiasts class was consistently more likely for males; Hispanic and black adolescents were more likely to be Disapproving Users. Conclusions: Contemporary patterns of marijuana use and attitudes have remained consistent over time, however, significant shifts in class prevalence emerged in 2014. Findings also suggest that a substantial subgroup of adolescents would benefit from prevention and intervention efforts targeting marijuana use and attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-400
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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