Research News Roundup: June 17, 2021

    COVID-19 Vaccine Willingness and Cannabis Use Histories

    Journal: medRxiv, 2021, doi: 10.1101/2021.04.26.21256109

    Authors: Philip A. Spechler, Jennifer L. Stewart, Rayus Kuplicki, the Tulsa 1000 Investigators & Martin P. Paulus

    Background: Cannabis use is associated with problematic health-behaviors such as excessive alcohol and tobacco use, and sedentary behavior. Here, we examined the association between cannabis use history and an especially topical health-behavior, willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Methods: COVID-19 vaccine willingness was surveyed in a subset of participants from the Tulsa 1000 Study, which is a longitudinal study of psychiatric treatment-seeking and healthy control participants. We identified 45 participants who completed a COVID-19 vaccine questionnaire and reported more than 10 lifetime cannabis uses. Those participants were compared to a group of 45 individuals with very light (<10) cannabis use histories who were propensity score-matched on age, sex, income, and race. Two-group t-tests and Bayes factor analysis on vaccine willingness were conducted between groups. Exploratory correlation analyses were conducted on vaccine willingness and lifetime cannabis use levels within the cannabis group only.

    Results: Vaccine willingness did not differ between the two groups (t88=0.33, p=.74; BF01=4.3). However, a negative correlation was identified within the cannabis group, such that higher lifetime cannabis use histories correlated with less willingness to receive a vaccine (rho43= -.33, p=.03).

    Conclusions: Although vaccine willingness did not differ between the two matched groups, preliminary evidence suggests that heavy lifetime cannabis use might indicate a reluctance to engage in health-promoting behaviors like receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    High Trait Attention Promotes Resilience and Reduces Binge Drinking among College Students with a Family History of Alcohol Use Disorder

    Journal: Front Psychiatry, 2021, doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.672863

    Authors: Amanda Elton, J. Hunter Allen, Mya Yorke, Farhan Khan, Qiaosen Lin & Charlotte A. Boettiger

    Abstract: Binge patterns of alcohol use among post-high school emerging adults are associated with both immediate negative consequences and increased risk of long-term drinking problems, particularly among individuals with a family history (FH) of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Therefore, the developmental time period of emerging adulthood, paired with the high-risk environment of college campuses, represents an important target for interventions. Attentional ability has recently emerged as a mediator of resilience to stress-related psychopathology and offers a potential neurocognitive target for interventions. We tested the hypothesis that attentional ability promotes resilience to binge drinking in a sample of 464 college students with (n = 221) or without (n = 243) familial risk for AUD. Two-way analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) tested effects of FH and self-reported binge drinking on attention scores from the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS). In addition, mediation analyses tested whether BIS attention scores mediated the relationship between Conner-Davidson Resilience Scale scores and binge drinking. ANCOVA results indicated a significant FH-by-binge drinking interaction (p = 0.008) in which FH positive subjects who did not binge drink had the fewest attention problems, consistent with a marker of resilience. Furthermore, BIS attention scores significantly mediated the effect of Conner-Davidson Resilience Scale scores on binge drinking, with stronger effects in FH positive subjects (p < 0.001) than FH negative subjects (p = 0.49). The findings suggest that attention promotes resilience to binge drinking in individuals with familial risk for AUD. Interventions targeting attentional ability in this high-risk population, particularly FH positive individuals with attention deficits, may serve to reduce binge drinking and its consequences.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Adolescent Use and Perceptions of JUUL and other Pod-Style e-Cigarettes: A Qualitative Study to Inform Prevention

    Journal: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2021, doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094843

    Authors: Kimberly G. Wagoner, Jessica L. King, Amir Alexander, Hollie L. Tripp & and Erin L. Sutfin

    Abstract: JUUL, a discrete pod-style e-cigarette, popular among adolescents, delivers high levels of nicotine. Limited research has assessed social and environmental influences that contribute to use of JUUL and other pod-style devices. We examined how these factors, as well as individual characteristics, shape adolescent use. Twenty-nine middle and high school students participated in six focus groups in June 2019 (58.6% female, 65.5% White, 27.6% Hispanic). Groups were stratified by e-cigarette use status and grade to understand perceptions and experiences among groups. Transcripts were coded using thematic analysis for individual, social, and environmental factors contributing to use. Users (n = 13) described their first experience with JUUL as mostly negative, mentioning reactions such as burning in the throat, coughing, wheezing, and headaches. Despite a negative first experience, stress relief and addiction were mentioned as reasons for continued use. Users and non-users identified vaping as a source of disruption to their daily life. Social factors included peer and parental influences, lack of support for quitting, and accessibility. Environmental factors included contrasting messages about long- and short-term health effects of e-cigarettes, as well as a lack of school vaping policy enforcement, health education, medical screenings, and cessation resources. Findings highlight the complex social system that influences adolescent e-cigarette use and have important implications for school and community responses. Strategies to prevent or reduce use may include reviewing existing school tobacco policies, providing counseling and cessation resources, training staff, and increasing knowledge through public education campaigns.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Journal: JAMA Netw Open, 2021, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.10925

    Authors: Julia A. Dilley, Janessa M. Graves, Ashley Brooks-Russell, Jennifer M. Whitehill & Erica L. Liebelt

    Abstract: Legalization of adult use cannabis products has led to a consumer-driven marketplace. A growing share of retail cannabis sales are manufactured cannabis products, which may contain higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than unprocessed cannabis plant materials, resulting in greater short-term effects (e.g., cognitive and psychomotor impairment). Public health concerns are emerging about these risks. Our study objective was to assess recent patterns in reports of cannabis-related exposures by product type.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Demographic and Policy-Based Differences in Behaviors and Attitudes towards Driving after Marijuana Use: An Analysis of the 2013–2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index

    Journal:  BMC Research Notes, 2021, doi: 10.1186/s13104-021-05643-3

    Authors: Marco H. Benedetti, Li Li, Lucas M. Neuroth, Kayleigh D. Humphries, Ashley Brooks-Russell & Motao Zhu

    Objective: Marijuana policies in the United States have become more permissive, motivating research on demographic and policy-based differences in behaviors and attitudes towards driving after marijuana use. The Traffic Safety Culture Index is an annual survey with national scope and multiple measures relevant to driving after marijuana use. We tabulated responses to questions about driving after marijuana use from the Traffic Safety Culture Index based on demographic factors, recreational and medical marijuana policies, and per-se marijuana laws.

    Results: Male, younger, lower-income, and lower-education respondents self-reported driving after marijuana use more than their demographic counterparts, more often reported such behavior to be personally acceptable, and exhibited lower support per-se laws. Drivers in states that legalized medical marijuana self-reported driving after marijuana use slightly more than drivers in states where both medical and recreational were illegal. Support for per-se laws was higher among those in states that legalized recreational marijuana and in states with per-se laws. Demographic differences in our outcomes were consistent and cohesive. On the other hand, we found no predominant pattern suggesting that those in states with liberal marijuana policies were more tolerant of driving after marijuana use.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    By Partnership Staff
    June 2021


    June 2021