Huijin Li, Ph.D.
Associate Professor/Co-Investigator - Psychology
501 Orr Drive
Gore Education Complex
Tallahassee, FL 32307
DeAnna Burney, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, and Huijin Li, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Center for Ethnic Psychological Research and Application, Department of Psychology
Marijuana, Mental Health, and FAMU
This project examines the epidemiological impact of intergenerational marijuana use on mental health in young African American populations and explores and tracks the psychological conditions related to marijuana use and other co-occurring drug use.
The study involved a three-stage process: (1) explore student marijuana use pathways and attitudes, culturally appropriate strategies to reduce its use and related crime and violence; (2) to examine the relationship between marijuana use and mental health as well as illegal behavior; and (3) to develop a culturally sensitive marijuana prevention and intervention psychoeducational training program.
Stage 1 consisted of 12 focus groups of approximately 10 per with 119 college student participants (Female = 83, Male = 36) from FAMU. Stage 2 consisted of 850 participants [female = 574, males = 151, unknown gender = 125; age range from 18 to 55, with most participants 58% between ages 21 to 23]. In Stage 3 220 participants completed on-line psychoeducation training and pre/post-tests.
The study involved a three-stage process. Stage 1 consisted of qualitative research to explore student marijuana use pathway and attitudes, culturally appropriate strategies to reduce it use and related crimes and violence via the recording and transcribing of 12 focus groups in 50-minute sessions. Stage 2 consisted of an epidemiological study of intergenerational marijuana use on FAMU campus to examine the relationship between marijuana use and mental health status and illegal behaviors. Stage 3 consisted of developing a culturally sensitive marijuana prevention and intervention psychoeducational training program.
Findings and Implications
The following were the most noteworthy findings: (a) marijuana use has a significant negative impact on African American young adult participants' mental health; (b) there appears to be significant correlations between marijuana use and mental health variables (depression suicide, anxiety, overall well-being, and life satisfaction); (c) intergenerational influence and patterns of marijuana use as a coping mechanism was observed; and (d)) the analysis of educational training modules indicate that participants scores improved on culturally sensitive marijuana prevention from the pre to post assessment.
Given the findings, MMERI may consider supporting other research projects that use innovative
technologies to provide culturally and developmentally appropriate education to African
American young adults and extending to other age groups.
Impact on MMERI
MMERI may wish to use findings to educate statewide shareholders that (1) marijuana education is necessary to its impact on mental health; (2) there appears to be a statistically significant correlation between marijuana and mental health status (e.g. depression, suicide, anxiety, well-being, and life satisfaction); and (3) benefits from marijuana training.