Effects of Depression, Anxiety and Screen Use on Adolescent Substance Use

Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101362.

Authors: Leigh-Anne Cioffredi, Jody Kamon, Win Turner

Abstract: The current study examined relations between depression risk, anxiety risk, screen time and substance use among adolescents receiving SBIRT services. Between October 2018 and June 2020, 1701 youth ages 12 to 17 received SBIRT services (47% male, 24.2% non-white). SBIRT screening included the completion of the Patient Health Questionnaire for depression risk, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 item scale, a question on average amount of screen time daily, and the S2BI for substance use. Analyses included t-tests and chi-squares to examine demographic differences across variables, bivariate correlations among independent variables to assess for use within regression analyses, and stepwise linear regressions to examine relations between depression risk, anxiety risk, screen time and substance use. Analyses were examined using the full sample as well as those who scored positive for mild mental health symptoms. Median screen time was 3 to 4 h daily, 29% met criteria for mental health problems or risky substance use with high comorbidity of depression and anxiety risk. Findings demonstrated a significant risk of increased substance use associated with depression risk, severe anxiety risk, and screen time. Anxiety risk alone was not related to substance use risk when accounting for depression risk. Routine screening for depression, other mental health concerns, screen time and substance use is critical in supporting adolescent health and development, especially given comorbidity and their relative contributions. Interventions aimed at decreasing screen time, and identifying mental health problems may aid in decreasing substance use risk in adolescents.

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Resting State Functional Connectivity in the Default Mode Network: Relationships Between Cannabis Use, Gender, and Cognition in Adolescents and Young Adults

Journal: NeuroImage: Clinical, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102664.

Authors: Megan M. Ritchay, Ashley A. Huggins, Alexander L. Wallace, Christine L. Larson, Krista M. Lisdahl

Abstract: Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States, and nearly 1 in 4 young adults are current cannabis users. Chronic cannabis use is associated with changes in resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) in the default mode network (DMN) in adolescents and young adults; results are somewhat inconsistent across studies, potentially due to methodological differences. The aims of the present study were to examine potential differences in DMN RSFC between cannabis users and controls, and to examine, as an exploratory analysis, if gender moderated any findings. We further examined whether differences in RSFC related to differences in performance on selected neuropsychological measures. Materials and Methods: Seventy-seven 16-26-year-old participants underwent an MRI scan (including resting state scan), neuropsychological battery, toxicology screening, and drug use interview. Differences in DMN connectivity were examined between groups (cannabis vs. control) and with an exploratory group by gender interaction, using a left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed-based analysis conducted in AFNI. Results: Cannabis users demonstrated weaker connectivity than controls between the left PCC and various DMN nodes, and the right Rolandic operculum/Heschl’s gyrus. Cannabis users demonstrated stronger connectivity between the left PCC and the cerebellum and left supramarginal gyrus. The group by gender interaction was not significantly associated with connectivity differences. Stronger left PCC—cerebellum connectivity was associated with poorer performance on cognitive measures in cannabis users. In controls, intra-DMN connectivity was positively correlated with performance on a speeded selective/sustained attention measure. Discussion: Consistent with our hypotheses and other studies, cannabis users demonstrated weaker connectivity between the left PCC and DMN nodes. Chronic THC exposure may alter GABA and glutamate concentrations, which may alter brain communication. Future studies should be conducted with a larger sample size and examine gender differences and the mechanism by which these differences may arise.

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An Examination of social and environmental determinants of secondhand smoke exposure among non-smoking adolescents

Journal: Tobacco Prevention & Cessation, 2021, doi:10.18332/tpc/131875

Authors: Elizabeth K. Do, Kennedy C. Bradley, Kendall Fugate-Laus, Kiranpreet Kaur, Matthew S. Halquist, Laure Ray, Michell A. Pope, et. al.

Introduction: Adolescents are at increased risk of secondhand smoke exposure (SHS) due to the limited control that they have over social and physical environments. Yet, knowledge regarding determinants of SHS among non-smoking adolescents is limited. This study identifies social and environmental factors associated with SHS among non-smoking adolescents. Methods: To be included, parents and adolescents (aged 11–17 years) of the Adolescents, Place, and Behavior Study had to have completed surveys between March 2019 and May 2020. Adolescents had to have not reported smoking within the past 30 days and provided a saliva sample assayed for cotinine (≤3 ng/mL). A series of stepwise linear regression models were fit to the data to identify social and environmental determinants of SHS, using log-transformed salivary cotinine. Results: Of the 105 adolescent and parent dyads included, 90.3% were African American, 26.9% of parents reported smoking, 33.3% resided in multi-unit housing, and 67.7% lived in homes where smoking was not permitted. Significant associations were found between parent tobacco use (β=2.56, SE=0.98, p=0.0082) and residing in multi-unit housing (β=1.72, SE=0.86, p=0.0460) with increased log-transformed cotinine levels among non-smoking adolescents. Adolescent age, gender, and race/ ethnicity, parental education, peer tobacco use, the number of adults and children in the home, average number of days of self-reported SHS within public spaces outside of the home, and home smoking policies were not significantly associated with cotinine. Conclusions: Results emphasize the importance of reducing secondhand smoke exposure by reducing parental smoking and altering exposures within social and home environments. Parental tobacco use and residential setting should be considered when developing interventions to reduce secondhand smoke exposure among non-smoking adolescents.

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Habitual cannabis use is associated with altered cardiac mechanics and arterial stiffness, but not endothelial function in young healthy smokers

Journal: Journal of Applied Physiology, 2021, doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00840.2020

Authors: Christian P. Cheung, Alexandra M. Coates, Philip J. Millar, Jamie F. Burr

Abstract: Cigarette smoking is among the most detrimental behaviors to cardiovascular health, resulting in arterial stiffening, endothelial dysfunction, and structural/functional alterations to the myocardium. Similar to cigarettes, cannabis is commonly smoked, and next to alcohol, is the most commonly used recreational substance in the world. Despite this, little is known about the long-term cardiovascular effects of smoking cannabis. This study explored the associations of cardiovascular structure and function with cannabis use in ostensibly healthy young participants (n = 35). Using echocardiography, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), and brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD), we performed a cross-sectional assessment of cardiovascular function in cannabis users (n = 18) and controls (n = 17). There were no differences in cardiac morphology or traditional resting measures of systolic or diastolic function between cannabis users and controls (all P > 0.05), whereas cannabis users demonstrated reduced peak apical rotation compared with controls (cannabis users: 5.5 ± 3.8, controls: 9.6 ± 1.5; P = 0.02). Cannabis users had higher cfPWV compared with controls (cannabis users: 5.8 ± 0.6 m/s, controls: 5.3 ± 0.7 m/s; P = 0.05), whereas FMD was similar between cannabis users and controls (cannabis users: 8.3 ± 3.3%, controls: 6.8 ± 3.6%; P = 0.7). Young, healthy, and cannabis users demonstrate altered cardiac mechanics and greater aortic stiffness. Further studies should explore causal links between cannabis smoking and altered cardiovascular function.

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Does Adolescent Digital Technology Use Detract from the Parent–Adolescent Relationship?

Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescents, 2021, doi: 10.1111/jora.12618

Authors: Michaeline Jensen, Madeleine J. George, Michael A. Russell, Melissa A. Lippold, Candice L. Odgers

Abstract: A population‐representative sample of young adolescents (N = 2,104, mean age 12.4) reported on digital technology use and relationships in 2015. A subsample (N = 388) completed a 14‐day ecological momentary assessment in 2016–2017 via mobile phone. Across the 2,104 adolescents, those who reported more social networking site engagement were more likely to live in families characterized by more family chaos and to report that their online experiences resulted in problems with their parents. However, when the subsample of adolescents was followed daily, there was little consistent evidence that adolescents’ quantity of daily digital technology use detracted from the amount of time they spend interacting with close others (including parents) nor that adolescent daily technology use was associated with more negative or less positive parent–adolescent interactions.

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