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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Affect Misattribution Procedure and cannabis cognitions among a sample of Canadian adolescents Robinson, Jill Marie


Adolescence is a time when many adolescents begin using cannabis. Cognitions that adolescents hold are predictive of their initiation or increase in cannabis use. Research highlights implicit cognitions in early substance use initiation. The Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) measures the affective impact of implicit cognitions by examining their influence on neutral stimuli. The present study used the AMP to examine implicit factors that predict early cannabis use by examining affective reactions of youth to presentations of cannabis images. It was expected that affective misattributions would predict substance use over a 12-month period. This study drew from participants (n = 438) in Grade 8 at baseline (Time 1), 6 months (Time 2), and 12 months (Time 3). Results indicated that scores on the AMP were different for non-users compared to cannabis-users at each time point (p < 0.05). At baseline, the AMP independently predicted cannabis use, β = 2.92, Wald chi square = 11.96 (3.55 – 97.28), p = .01. An explicit cognitive measure (cannabis outcome expectancy liking; COEL) contributed significantly to the model at Time 1, β = 1.09, Wald chi square = 24.09 (1.93 – 4.62), p = .01, but did not eliminate the effect of the AMP. At Time 2, the AMP independently predicted cannabis use, β = 1.25, Wald chi square = 5.60 (1.24 – 9.85), p = .02. However, when COEL, β = 1.02, Wald chi square = 38.38 (2.01 – 3.85), p = .01, was added to the model, the AMP no longer predicted cannabis use. At Time 3, the AMP did not predict cannabis use independently. COEL predicted cannabis use in the full model, β = 0.99, Wald chi square = 40.33 (1.99 – 3.67), p = .01. Zero-inflated Poisson regressions showed the AMP also predicted the frequency of use at baseline, β = 1.33, SE = 2.35, p = .01, had moderate independent prediction at six months, β = 0.66, SE = 0.17, p = .01, and no predictive value at 12 months, β = -0.11, SE = 0.20, p = .57. These findings suggest that rapid affective reactions to cannabis images predict cannabis use in adolescents.

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