Title of Abstract

College Students’ Perceptions of Marijuana Users and Abstainers

Poster Number

39

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.; sleighm@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The prevalence of marijuana use among college students has been steadily rising Thus, we examined perceptions of marijuana users on a college campus. Our hypothesis was that casual users and abstainers would be perceived similarly and less negatively than heavy marijuana users. Participants (n = 100) college students with a mean age of 19.30 (SD = 1.27). The majority were women (72%), and about half were Caucasians (56%). Participants provided information about their marijuana use, academic entitlement, and knowledge of marijuana. Participants were then asked to imagine themselves as either a heavy marijuana user, a casual user, or an abstainer. While imagining themselves in this role, they responded to scales to assess life satisfaction, happiness, and social intelligence. Our hypothesis was not supported. We found that college students perceive their peers who do not use marijuana as having better outcomes and more academic motivation than students who use marijuana at any level. Supporting this perception, college students in our study with heavier marijuana use also had less personal academic responsibility, more academic entitlement, and lower knowledge about marijuana; however, they did not have lower grades. Gender emerged as a more influential variable than race or living conditions, with men reporting more marijuana use than women.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

PSYC 302 - Sleigh

Other Presentations/Performances

2021 Southeastern Psychological Association Conference - virtual

Type of Presentation

Poster presentation

Start Date

16-4-2021 12:30 PM

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Apr 16th, 12:30 PM

College Students’ Perceptions of Marijuana Users and Abstainers

The prevalence of marijuana use among college students has been steadily rising Thus, we examined perceptions of marijuana users on a college campus. Our hypothesis was that casual users and abstainers would be perceived similarly and less negatively than heavy marijuana users. Participants (n = 100) college students with a mean age of 19.30 (SD = 1.27). The majority were women (72%), and about half were Caucasians (56%). Participants provided information about their marijuana use, academic entitlement, and knowledge of marijuana. Participants were then asked to imagine themselves as either a heavy marijuana user, a casual user, or an abstainer. While imagining themselves in this role, they responded to scales to assess life satisfaction, happiness, and social intelligence. Our hypothesis was not supported. We found that college students perceive their peers who do not use marijuana as having better outcomes and more academic motivation than students who use marijuana at any level. Supporting this perception, college students in our study with heavier marijuana use also had less personal academic responsibility, more academic entitlement, and lower knowledge about marijuana; however, they did not have lower grades. Gender emerged as a more influential variable than race or living conditions, with men reporting more marijuana use than women.