Does gender contribute to heterogeneity in criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence? Results from the national epidemiological survey on alcohol and related conditions

Arpana Agrawal, Michael T. Lynskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has noted that a unidimensional latent construct underlies criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence. However, no study to date has explored whether gender contributes to heterogeneity in the latent abuse and dependence construct and furthermore, whether after accounting for differences in the mean scores of abuse and dependence across genders, there is any evidence for heterogeneity in the individual abuse and dependence criteria. The present study utilizes data on criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence from a large, nationally representative sample (National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions) of 8172 lifetime cannabis users to investigate whether gender contributes to heterogeneity in the underlying construct of cannabis abuse and dependence, and in each individual criterion as well. Analyses, all of which were conducted in MPlus, included factor analysis, as well as MIMIC and multiple-group models for an examination of dimensionality and gender heterogeneity, respectively. Results favor a unidimensional construct for cannabis abuse/dependence, as seen in prior research. We also identify two abuse (legal and hazard) and two dependence (quit and problems) criteria, which show significant gender heterogeneity with the abuse criteria exhibiting higher thresholds in women and the dependence criteria in men. We conclude that the criteria that serve as indicators of DSM-IV cannabis abuse and dependence do not function identically in men and women and that certain criteria (e.g. hazardous use) require further refinement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume88
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2007

Keywords

  • Abuse/dependence
  • Cannabis
  • Factor analysis
  • Gender
  • MIMIC

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