Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Mountasser Kadrie


AbstractCurrent knowledge of young adults’ marijuana use centers around individual risk factors and negative health effects (i.e., mental disorder), with less focus on contextual circumstances. In this study, I examined the association between demographic (i.e., gender, race, education, employment, income, and population density), social (i.e., risk perception and religious beliefs influence), living context (i.e., difficulty getting marijuana, poverty level, and county metro status), and marijuana use among young adults. The social-ecological model guided this study. In this quantitative cross-sectional study, data from the 2019 U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health that included 14,226 young adults aged 18 to 25 years old were analyzed. Logistic regression for demographic factors showed lower odds of marijuana use among non-Hispanic/Hispanics compared to Whites (OR = .723, 95% CI [.675-.774, p < 0.001), higher odds among the college educated (OR = 1.207, 95% CI [1.126-1.293, p < 0.001) compared to those with high school education, and lower odds among the unemployed (OR = .678, 95% CI [.630-.728], p < 0.001). Among social factors, odds of marijuana use were less among young adults seeing great risk in frequent use (OR = .420, 95% CI [.361-.489], p < 0.001) and higher among those who disagree with the importance of friends sharing religious beliefs (OR = 1.390, 95% CI [1.256-1.538], p < .05). For living context factors, odds were high for those who perceive marijuana as easy to acquire (OR = 5.879, 95% CI [5.385-6.419], p < 0.001). Findings of this study can be used to inform marijuana risk reduction and prevention policies and programs to improve the quality of life for young adults in this vulnerable age group, leading to positive social change.