Event Title

Effects of Early Onset Marijuana Use on Executive Functioning Compared to Late Onset Marijuana Use

Presenter Information

Sarah Lehman

Mentor 1

Krista Lisdahl

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

Marijuana (MJ) is one of the most popular recreational drugs used by young adults (Medina et al., 2007). Previous research has found that early onset MJ use has been associated with poorer performance in executive functioning tasks (Fontes et al., 2011). This study assessed whether early onset MJ use was associated with poorer performance in executive functioning compared with late onset MJ use. A sample of 53 adolescent and young adult MJ users, 26 with an early onset (<17 years old) and 27 with a later onset (18 or older), were drawn from the community at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee as part of a larger study. A series of multiple regressions were run to examine whether early vs. late onset of MJ use demonstrated poorer executive functioning while controlling for alcohol and nicotine use. Early onset MJ users demonstrated marginally fewer commission errors (p=.07), longer response time (p=.10), and greater reaction time variability (p=.06) on a continuous performance test (CPT-II). Early onset MJ users demonstrated slower and more variability in response to a continuous performance task, demonstrating poorer sustained attention and increased impulsivity compared to late onset MJ users. These findings support previous findings of increased executive dysfunction in early onset MJ users; although the findings were more subtle. This may be due to the fact that this sample had a relatively late average onset at over 17 years old. Future studies, like the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD), are needed to examine this longitudinally.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Effects of Early Onset Marijuana Use on Executive Functioning Compared to Late Onset Marijuana Use

Union Wisconsin Room

Marijuana (MJ) is one of the most popular recreational drugs used by young adults (Medina et al., 2007). Previous research has found that early onset MJ use has been associated with poorer performance in executive functioning tasks (Fontes et al., 2011). This study assessed whether early onset MJ use was associated with poorer performance in executive functioning compared with late onset MJ use. A sample of 53 adolescent and young adult MJ users, 26 with an early onset (<17 years>old) and 27 with a later onset (18 or older), were drawn from the community at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee as part of a larger study. A series of multiple regressions were run to examine whether early vs. late onset of MJ use demonstrated poorer executive functioning while controlling for alcohol and nicotine use. Early onset MJ users demonstrated marginally fewer commission errors (p=.07), longer response time (p=.10), and greater reaction time variability (p=.06) on a continuous performance test (CPT-II). Early onset MJ users demonstrated slower and more variability in response to a continuous performance task, demonstrating poorer sustained attention and increased impulsivity compared to late onset MJ users. These findings support previous findings of increased executive dysfunction in early onset MJ users; although the findings were more subtle. This may be due to the fact that this sample had a relatively late average onset at over 17 years old. Future studies, like the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD), are needed to examine this longitudinally.