Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Matthew Jones

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Abstract

Much of the controversy surrounding cannabis legalization concerns the uncertain effect of cannabis use on the developing brains of adolescents and young adults. In order to develop effective harm reduction strategies, research must accurately identify such effects, as well as identify factors that impact this relationship. This study examines relationships between cannabis use on executive functioning in young adults by analyzing the collective and individual impact of variables relating to cannabis use on six correlated measures of IEF ability. We failed to demonstrate any meaningful relationship between cannabis use and IEF ability in young adults. This was true whether cannabis variables were assessed collectively, as in the comparison of nested models, or individually, as predictors within the full linear regression models. Although the study may have been affected by a restriction of range, this null effect of cannabis is validated by considerable internal consistency within measures of inhibitory executive functions and cannabis use. The lack of significant results in the presence of strong construct validity, suggests the relationship between cannabis and IEF is complicated and dependent on a number of factors.

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