Dustin Pardini (1)
Jordan Bechtold (1)
Rolf Loeber (1,2)
Helene White (3)
1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2. Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
3. Center of Alcohol Studies/Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA
Dustin Pardini, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Sterling Plaza, Suite 408, 201 North Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectives: Examine whether young men who chronically use marijuana are at risk for engaging in drug-related and non-drug-related criminal offending and exhibiting psychopathic personality features in their mid-30s.
Methods: Patterns of marijuana use were delineated in a sample of predominately Black and White young men from adolescence to the mid-20s using latent class growth curve analysis. Self-report and official records of criminal offending and psychopathic personality features were assessed in the mid-30s. Analyses controlled for multiple factors indicative of a pre-existing antisocial lifestyle and co-occurring use of other substances and tested for moderation by race.
Results: Four latent marijuana trajectory groups were identified: chronic high, adolescence-limited, late increasing, and low/nonusers. Relative to low/nonusers, chronic high and late increasing marijuana users exhibited more adult psychopathic features and were more likely to engage in drug-related offending during their mid-30s. Adolescence-limited users were similar to low/nonusers in terms of psychopathic features but were more likely to be arrested for drug-related crimes. No trajectory group differences were found for violence or theft, and the group differences were not moderated by race.
Conclusions: Young men who engage in chronic marijuana use from adolescence into their 20s are at increased risk for exhibiting psychopathic features, dealing drugs, and enduring drug-related legal problems in their mid-30s relative to men who remain abstinent or use infrequently.