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Attention and Memory Problems in Everyday Life Among Young Adult Cannabis Users

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The need to fully understand the possible consequences of young-adult cannabis use has become increasingly critical as a result of major cannabis policy changes. The purpose of this study was to determine if young-adult users exhibit cognitive deficits on laboratory-based

The need to fully understand the possible consequences of young-adult cannabis use has become increasingly critical as a result of major cannabis policy changes. The purpose of this study was to determine if young-adult users exhibit cognitive deficits on laboratory-based tests and memory and attention deficits in everyday life. Participants were 152 students from a large U.S. university enrolled in introductory psychology courses and the top and bottom 10% of the 12-item Yale University PRIME Screening Test for psychotic-like experiences. Participants were asked about their cannabis use and were given six cognitive tests spanning executive function and memory. To test functional impairment in memory and attention, participants were asked to nominate informants (people who knew them well) and these rated the participants on an attention problems scale of four items and a memory problems scale of three items. Results showed that individuals who used cannabis more frequently were rated as having more attention and memory problems and that, consistent with prior research, more frequent cannabis use was associated with worse memory test performance, though the association was not present between frequency of use and executive function test performance. Additionally, it was found that informant-reported attention problems were associated with poorer performance on two of the executive function cognitive tests. The present findings suggest that individuals who use cannabis more frequently experience noticeable memory and attention problems in everyday life, despite the lack of significant correlation between this functional impairment and cognitive test performance. Informant reports, therefore, may be useful in future research for understanding or predicting cognitive impairment in young adults.

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2016-12

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Do Young-Adult Cannabis Users Show Amotivation? An Analysis of Reports from Third-Party Observers

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Cannabis use has been purported to cause an amotivation-like syndrome among users. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether third party observers noticed amotivation among cannabis users. Participants in this study were 72 undergraduate university students, with a

Cannabis use has been purported to cause an amotivation-like syndrome among users. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether third party observers noticed amotivation among cannabis users. Participants in this study were 72 undergraduate university students, with a mean age of M=19.20 years old (SD=2.00). Participants nominated Informants who knew them well and these informants completed a version of the 18-item Apathy Evaluation Scale. Results indicated that more frequent cannabis use was associated with higher informant-reported levels of amotivation, even when controlling for age, sex, psychotic-like experiences, SES, alcohol use, tobacco use, other drug use, and depression symptoms (β=0.34, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.64, p=.027). A lack of motivation severe enough to be visible by a third party has the potential to have negative social impacts on individuals who use cannabis regularly.

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2016-12