Predicting Onset of Cannabis Use in Early Adolescence: The Interrelation Between High-Intensity Pleasure and Disruptive Behavior. The TRAILS Study

HE Creemers, PAC (Pol) van Lier, WAM Vollebergh, J Ormel, Frank Verhulst, AC Huizink

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Objective: increased knowledge about the mechanisms by which some individuals are at risk for early onset of cannabis use might contribute to the improvement of prevention efforts. We focus on the roles of early-adolescent high-intensity pleasure, disruptive behavior, and their interplay in the prediction of onset of cannabis use 2 years later. Method: Data from 81% (n = 1,804) of the participants (51.9% girls) of the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a prospective general population study in the north of The Netherlands, were analyzed. Measures included parent-reported high-intensity pleasure, and parent- and self-reported general disruptive behavior, attention-deficit hyperactivity, oppositional problems, and conduct problems (Child Behavior Checklist/6-18 and Youth Self-Report) at ages 10-12. Onset of cannabis use was assessed at age 12-14 by means of self-reports. Analyses were carried out in Mplus. Results: Early adolescent high-intensity pleasure and disruptive behavior, mainly conduct problems and to some extent attention-deficit hyperactivity, predicted the onset of cannabis use in adolescence. Although we found some mediation by general disruptive behavior, conduct problems, and attention-deficit hyperactivity, the contribution of high-intensity pleasure in predicting the onset of cannabis use was found to be mainly independent from disruptive behavior. Conclusions: The unique contribution of both high-intensity pleasure and disruptive behavior points in the direction of different pathways toward onset of cannabis use. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 70: 850-858, 2009)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)850-858
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-04-55-01

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