Examining Daily Associations Between Mental Health Symptoms and Simultaneous Alcohol and Marijuana Use and Consequences Among Young Adults

Megan E Patrick, Jason J. Ramirez, Jennifer M. Cadigan, Scott Graupensperger, Katherine Walukevich-Dienst, Isaac C. Rhew, Linda Rinehart, Christine M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The present study examined daily associations between mental health symptoms (i.e., depression and anxiety symptoms) and simultaneous alcohol and marijuana (SAM) use and use-related negative consequences among young adults.

METHOD: Participants were a community sample of 409 young adults between the ages of 18-25 who drank alcohol at least three times in the past month and reported SAM use in the past month ( M age = 21.6, 50.9% female). A baseline assessment included a measure of SAM use motives, after which participants completed five 14-day bursts reporting daily mental health symptoms and alcohol/marijuana use.

RESULTS: Daily mental health symptoms were not associated with SAM use likelihood. However, baseline SAM coping motives moderated the association between mental health symptoms and use such that young adults with stronger coping motives showed a stronger positive association between mental health symptoms and SAM use. Further, on SAM use days, reporting more mental health symptoms relative to one's average was associated with experiencing more use-related negative consequences, even after controlling for daily levels of alcohol and marijuana use (RR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.01-1.05, p = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: The association between daily mental health symptoms and SAM use depended on whether the young adults had coping motives for use. Daily fluctuations in mental health were associated with negative use-related consequences experienced on SAM use days regardless of motives. These findings highlight the potential importance of prevention and intervention strategies particularly on days when young adults are experiencing increased mental health symptoms. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-418
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection and manuscript preparation were supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01AA025037 to Christine M. Lee & Megan E. Patrick and T32 AA007455 to M. Larimer). The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association


  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Marijuana
  • Mental health
  • Simultaneous
  • Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology
  • Marijuana Smoking/psychology
  • Ethanol
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Young Adult
  • Analgesics
  • Motivation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Marijuana Use/epidemiology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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