When cannabis is available and visible at school - A multilevel analysis of students' cannabis use
SourceDrugs: Education Prevention and Policy, 17, 6, (2010), pp. 681-688
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Drugs: Education Prevention and Policy
Aims - To investigate the links between the visibility of cannabis use in school (measured by teachers’ reports of students being under the influence of cannabis on school premises), the proportion of cannabis users in the class, perceived availability of cannabis, as well as adolescent cannabis use. Methods - A multilevel regression model was estimated based on a Swiss national representative sample of 5935 students in the 8th and 9th grades (mean age = 14.8, SD = 0.9) and their 343 teachers. Findings - The visibility of cannabis use in school was related to the students' own cannabis use, even when the proportion of cannabis users in the class was taken into account. In addition, the strength of the association between perceived availability and students' cannabis use increased as the visibility of cannabis use in school became higher. Conclusion - Visible cannabis use at school appears to trigger cannabis use among students, e.g. by raising the degree to which they perceive its ready availability. Teachers, school authorities, and policy-makers must assume responsibility for creating a more protective school environment, by establishing and enforcing school regulations for example.
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