Being the victim of violence during a date predicts next-day cannabis use among female college students


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Abstract

AimsTo determine whether being the victim of violence during a date among female college students on any given day predicted cannabis and alcohol use the following day.Design, Setting and ParticipantsBetween August 2010 and January 2013, we conducted a 90-day daily diary study with 174 females who were in current dating relationships from a large university in the Southeastern United States. The mean age of the sample was 18.70 years [standard deviation (SD) = 1.27]; participants were primarily non-Hispanic Caucasian (86.2%). Participants answered questions about contact with their dating partner, being the victim of violence (physical and sexual) during a date, physical perpetration, alcohol use and cannabis use for up to 90 days. The mean number of diaries completed was 54.90 (SD = 27.66).MeasurementsThe primary outcomes were self-reported daily cannabis and alcohol use. Being the victim of violence during a date was assessed each day using self-report items from the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales and Sexual Experiences Survey.FindingsBeing the victim of violence during a date predicted cannabis use the following day (odds ratio = 2.25), and this effect held when controlling for contact with a partner, cannabis and alcohol use the previous day, physical perpetration the previous day, alcohol use the same day and the overall likelihood of being the victim of violence during a date, substance use and physical perpetration. Being the victim of violence during a date did not predict next-day alcohol use. Being the victim of sexual and physical violence during a date did not differentially predict next-day substance use.ConclusionsAmong female college students in the United States, being the victim of violence during a date appears to increase the risk for cannabis use the following day.

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