Youth Cannabis Use, Screen Time & Mental Health Symptoms

Youth Cannabis Use, Screen Time & Mental Health Symptoms

A study recently published in Substance Use & Misuse (2021) examined mediating pathways among screen time sedentary behaviors (STSB), mental health internalizing symptoms (IS), and cannabis use in a linked longitudinal sample of 28,269 Canadian youth-year period.

This study demonstrated that the associations between screen time, mental health and cannabis use are complex and involve mediation in both directions.

Specifically, greater screen time is associated with more cannabis use by increasing mental health problems, and greater mental health problems is associated with more cannabis consumption by increasing screen time.

Two implications of this study’s findings include:

1) Promoting greater physical activity and less screen time among youth in general, and among sedentary youth in particular, may reduce both mental health problems and cannabis use; and

2) Targeting youth experiencing internalizing symptoms to receive programs that integrate physical activity promotion with cannabis use prevention may improve broader behavioral and physical health of young people. 

Read the research abstract:

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