Marijuana use and physical dating violence among adolescents and emerging adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 May 1;174:47-57. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.012. Epub 2017 Feb 28.


Background: As restrictions on marijuana are loosened, there is concern of a coming increase in marijuana use among adolescents and emerging adults, which could be coupled with commensurate increases in behavioral problems associated with use, such as physical dating violence (PDV). To summarize what is known about the association between marijuana use and PDV victimization and perpetration among 11-21year olds, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the relevant literature published between 2003 and 2015.

Methods: Candidate articles were identified with a systematic search, and we used inclusion and exclusion criteria to review titles, abstracts, and the full text of studies for consideration. There were 13 articles examining marijuana in association with PDV; five addressed victimization and 11 addressed perpetration.

Results: Findings suggest that marijuana use is associated with a 54% increase in the odds PDV victimization, and a 45% increase in the odds of perpetration.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that dating violence is a correlate of marijuana use, and that association is strongest among adolescents (vs. emerging adults) and girls (vs. boys). Therefore, it should be routinely included as a core data item in marijuana surveillance systems, so as to allow for behavioral monitoring.

Keywords: Adolescents; Dating violence/partner violence; Emerging adults; Marijuana/cannabis; Meta-analysis; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Crime Victims
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / psychology*
  • Marijuana Smoking / psychology*
  • Sex Characteristics