Is pre-college interpersonal trauma associated with cannabis use?

J Am Coll Health. 2023 Dec;71(9):2645-2652. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2021.1980399. Epub 2021 Sep 29.


Objective: To examine the prevalence and correlates of lifetime cannabis use (i.e., experimental [use 1-5 times] and non-experimental [use ≥ 6 times]) in relation to interpersonal trauma (IPT) above and beyond relevant covariates.

Participants: A large (n = 9,889) representative sample of college students at an urban university in the southeastern part of the United States.

Methods: Participants were 4 cohorts of first-year college students who completed measures of demographics, cannabis, alcohol, nicotine, and IPT. Associations were estimated using multinomial logistic regressions.

Results: The prevalence of lifetime cannabis use was 28.1% and 17.4% for non-experimental and experimental cannabis use, respectively. IPT was significantly associated with experimental and non-experimental cannabis use above and beyond effects of sex, race, cohort, alcohol, and nicotine.

Conclusions: Results show that cannabis use is prevalent among college students and is associated with IPT above and beyond associations with sex, race, and other substance use.

Keywords: Cannabis; college students; substance use; trauma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis*
  • Ethanol
  • Humans
  • Nicotine
  • Students
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • United States
  • Universities


  • Nicotine
  • Ethanol