Mark Pinkerton, MD
Marijuana, safety, perceptions, risks, adolescents
The United States federal government has been discouraging use of marijuana for decades. Prior to 1970, the federal regulation of marijuana use was through taxes. In 1970, marijuana use was deemed a criminal offense, and overrode any states that considered it legal. In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. A study found adolescent use was 8.68% higher in states allowing medical marijuana and had a significantly lower perception of risks associated with marijuana use (6.94%).
To determine if an educational program about the effects of marijuana use can negatively influence the perceptions of adolescents regarding the drug, discouraging use and increasing perceptions of risk of abuse, as measured by a pre- and post-evaluation.
The survey will be given three times to the students who attend an educational class. A pre-survey will be given to establish a baseline of what the students’ perceptions of marijuana are before the session. A post-survey will be given immediately after the session to assess the effect of the educational program. Finally, a follow-up survey will be given one month later to determine if the session will have long-lasting effects. The questions in this study will be designed based on a literature review. Some answers of survey options will be multiple choice and Likert-type scales will be used to determine their perceptions of safety. Unique random identifiers will be established for participants. This will allow pre- and post- surveys to be matched for analysis while ensuring anonymity of participants.
Cronbach’s alpha will be used to assess the internal consistency of the survey. A Shapiro-Wilk test will be used to assess the normality of the data, to determine if parametric or nonparametric tests should be performed. A Chi-Square test will be used to analyze results from binary questions. For categorical questions, One-Way ANOVA will be used if the data is parametric and Kruskal-Wallis will be used if data is non-parametric. When we compare Likert-type questions from two surveys, we will use a Paired T-Test for parametric data and Wilcoxon for nonparametric data. For Likert-type questions compared between all three surveys, we will use a Repeated Measure ANOVA for parametric data and a Friedman Test for nonparametric data.
Amoah, Kofi; Baffoe, James; Distel, Katherine; Madden, Matt; Thomas, Jordan; and Yang, Insang, "Perceptions of Marijuana Use Among Adolescents" (2015). Pharmacy and Nursing Student Research and Evidence-Based Medicine Poster Session. 71.
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