Factors That Influence College Students’ Risk Perceptions of Marijuana

Alayna Brooke Sheffield, Judy Orton Grissett


The current study examines factors that affect college students’ risk perceptions and opinions on the legality of marijuana use (“risk perceptions”).  A 22-question survey was administered to college students regarding background demographics, experiences with alcohol and cigarettes, experiences with anxiety and depression, and the number of people they knew to smoke marijuana.  Although no relationship was found between demographics, cigarette use, or anxiety and depression and risk perceptions, a negative correlation existed between alcohol use and risk perceptions, meaning that higher alcohol consumption was associated with lower risk perceptions of marijuana.  A positive relationship was also found between the number of marijuana users students knew and their risk perceptions, showing that the risk of using marijuana was viewed as having lower risk as the number of known marijuana smokers increased.


substance use; marijuana; college students; risk perceptions

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ISSN: 2325-0917