College attendance type and subsequent alcohol and marijuana use in the U.S

Joy Bohyun Jang, Megan S. Schuler, Rebecca J. Evans-Polce, Megan E. Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: College attendance is a risk factor for frequent and heavy drinking and marijuana initiation but less is known about the extent to which risk varies by type of college attendance and across age. Methods: Using panel data of young adults who were high school seniors in 1990–1998 from the Monitoring the Future study (n = 13,123), we examined the associations between college attendance at age 19/20 (4-year college full-time, other college, and non-attendance) and subsequent alcohol and marijuana use at age 21/22, 25/26, 29/30 and 35. Inverse propensity score weighting was used to balance the three college groups on pre-existing differences when examining associations with substance use outcomes. Results: Compared to non-attendance, attending a 4-year college full-time was associated with significantly greater odds of binge drinking at age 21/22 (aOR = 1.20) and 25/26 (aOR = 1.12) and lower odds of alcohol abstinence at age 35 (aOR = 0.51). Similarly, other college attendance was associated with greater odds of binge drinking at age 21/22 (aOR = 1.08) and 25/26 (aOR = 1.04) and lower odds of abstinence at age 35 (aOR = 0.70). Four-year college full-time attendance was associated with greater odds of marijuana use at age 21/22 (aOR = 1.07) and 25/26 (aOR = 1.02) but lower odds at age 29/30 (aOR = 0.99). Other college attendance was associated with lower odds of marijuana use at age 25/26 (aOR = 0.98) and 29/30 (aOR = 0.97). Marijuana use at age 35 did not differ by college attendance. Conclusions: College attendance may confer elevated risk of substance use post-college. The magnitude and duration of risk vary by type of college attendance and substance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107580
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume204
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • College attendance
  • Marijuana use
  • Marijuana use disorder

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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