Individual and school level effects of perceived harm, perceived availability, and community size on marijuana use among 12th-grade students: a random effects model

Prev Sci. 2003 Jun;4(2):89-98. doi: 10.1023/a:1022922231605.


A hierarchical linear model was used to estimate the individual and school level effects for marijuana use among a national sample of 12th-grade students. School effects were small in comparison to individual level effects, accounting for 2.9% of the variance in marijuana use. At the individual level, perceived harm, perceived availability, and their interaction were significant predictors, each of which varied randomly across schools. Among two school-level predictors, the normative environment for perceived harm was not significant, but normative perceived availability predicted level of marijuana use. The effect of perceived availability on marijuana use was stronger in larger, compared to smaller communities. Results are discussed in light of the use of random regression methods for identifying school-specific patterns of risk and protection for prevention planning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking* / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Smoking* / prevention & control
  • Marijuana Smoking* / psychology
  • Peer Group
  • Prevalence
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Risk-Taking
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Social Environment*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology