Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

Sarah Feldstein Ewing


Engaging in cannabis use during adolescence is a health behavior that can have unintended, harmful consequences for young people—an age group often characterized by heightened pressure to align with peer attitudes and behaviors. An extensive body of research documents the role of social context in the onset and escalation of cannabis use in young people, a factor that may be particularly salient among sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth; however, the details and timing of those dynamics remain underexplored in the context of adolescent cannabis use. Participants were 204 adolescents (Mage = 18.68; 61% female; 68% White; 36% SGM status) recruited via community outreach in the Pacific Northwest. Multilevel modeling was used to investigate longitudinal associations between time-varying peer factors and cannabis use measured at four timepoints over a 12-month period. Peer factors included resistance to peer influence (RPI) and cannabis-specific peer norms, while cannabis outcomes were hazardous use (measured by the Cannabis Problems Questionnaire [CPQ]) and dichotomized past-month use. Given the prevalence of SGM youth in the sample, exploratory analyses included SGM status as a moderator of the associations between peer factors and cannabis use. Results confirmed the primary hypothesis that within-person increases in CPQ were associated with lower RPI and higher peer norms, while at the between-person level, CPQ was only associated with peer norms. Further, within- and between-person endorsement of past-month use was associated only with peer norms and not RPI. Study findings help to elucidate salient targets relating to adolescents’ peer contexts for future cannabis prevention and intervention efforts.

Available for download on Friday, September 06, 2024