Prevention Science

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 109–116 | Cite as

Predictors of Adult Marijuana Use Among Parents and Nonparents

  • Marina EpsteinEmail author
  • Jennifer A. Bailey
  • Christine M. Steeger
  • Karl G. Hill
  • Martie L. Skinner


The current study examined predictors of marijuana use among adults, including subsamples of adults who are actively parenting (i.e., have regular face-to-face contact with a child) and those who have no children. Participants were a community sample of 808 adults and two subsamples drawn from the full group: 383 adults who were actively parenting and 135 who had no children. Multilevel models examined predictors of marijuana use in these three groups from ages 27 to 39. Becoming a parent was associated with a decrease in marijuana use. Regular marijuana use in young adulthood (ages 21–24), partner marijuana use, and pro-marijuana attitudes increased the likelihood of past-year marijuana use among all participants. Being a primary caregiver (among parents) was associated with less marijuana use. Overall, predictors of marijuana use were similar for all adults, regardless of parenting status. Study results suggest that the onset of parenthood alone may be insufficient to reduce adult marijuana use. Instead, preventive intervention targets may include changing adult pro-marijuana attitudes and addressing marijuana use behaviors of live-in partners. Lastly, universal approaches targeting parents and nonparents may be effective for general adult samples.


Parenting Adult marijuana use Prevention 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


Funding for this study was provided by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA023089; R01DA12138; R01DA033956; and R01DA09679). The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agency.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Human Subjects division of the Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All measures and procedures were approved by the University of Washington Human Subjects Review Committee.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Epstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennifer A. Bailey
    • 1
  • Christine M. Steeger
    • 1
  • Karl G. Hill
    • 1
  • Martie L. Skinner
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Development Research Group, School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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