Do Young-Adult Cannabis Users Show Amotivation? An Analysis of Informant Reports

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Cannabis use has been purported to cause an amotivational syndrome. This study tested whether informants report higher levels of amotivation among cannabis users compared with nonusers. Participants in this study were 72 undergraduate students, with a mean age of 19.25 years (SD = 2.00). Participants reported on their past-year cannabis use and nominated informants who knew them well to complete questionnaires about participants’ health and behavior. One of the questionnaires on the informant survey asked about participants’ level of amotivation. Results showed that cannabis users who had used cannabis 52 days or more in the past year had higher informant-reported levels of amotivation (M = 0.79) compared with individuals who had not used cannabis in the past year (M = −0.12; p = .002) and compared with cannabis users who had used cannabis less than 52 days in the past year (M = −0.36; p < .001). Findings were similar after controlling for a variety of covariates, including alcohol and other drug use and depression symptoms. Cannabis-related amotivation severe enough to be apparent to informants has the potential to have a negative impact on an individual’s life chances.

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