Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Impacts of Early Cannabis Use and Childhood Abuse and Neglect on the Occurrence of Sub-Clinical Psychotic Symptoms and Adaptive Distress in a Cohort of Lower SES Young Adults

Shearer, Michael Todd (2011) Impacts of Early Cannabis Use and Childhood Abuse and Neglect on the Occurrence of Sub-Clinical Psychotic Symptoms and Adaptive Distress in a Cohort of Lower SES Young Adults. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (202kB) | Preview


It has been hypothesized that environmental stressors can exacerbate the onset of psychosis We hypothesize that early marijuana use (EMU) and childhood abuse and neglect (CAN) are these types of environment stressors that could accelerate mental illness. Both EMU and CAN are significant concerns in public health because they are behaviors that are preventable and can cause a wide array of mental illness diagnoses. In addition, we hypothesize that even when given severe EMU and CAN exposures, an individual must have a genetic predisposition to developing psychosis.A cohort of 608 subjects selected from the Maternal Health Practices and Child Development (MHPCD) project was selected for study. Subjects of a mother and a single child were selected from Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA during their fourth month of pregnancy. Mothers were oversampled who engaged in potential teratogenic behaviors during pregnancy (i.e. substance use/abuse). Controls were randomly selected from those who agreed to participate in the study and who rarely or never used drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.We tested two different models where the response variables were counts of psychotic experiences and an Adult Self Report (ASR) score that measured adaptive distress for the child at 22 years. Both models included race, sex, and the mother's use of marijuana during the first trimester, CAN, and EMU as covariates. Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) score measured CAN, and age of first use of marijuana measured EMU. ASR was modeled using OLS regression, and psychotic experiences were modeled using negative binomial regression.Both models showed highly significant results for CTQ score or CAN. (<.001 p-value). This suggests an increasing risk for mean number of psychotic symptoms and increasing adaptive distress for higher exposures to CAN. Both models also showed an increasing dose-response relationship to EMU. However, the prevalence of schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like diagnosis (.5%) was less than that of an estimate the general population. CAN and EMU were also divided into four categories: no EMU and no CAN; EMU and no CAN, no EMU and CAN; EMU and CAN. All four categories showed an increasing, additive effect on adaptive distress, number of psychotic experiences, and other mental illnesses, respectively.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shearer, Michael
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDay, Richardrdfac@pitt.eduRDFAC
Committee MemberWilson, JohnJWW@pitt.eduJWW
Committee MemberDay, Nancynday@pitt.eduNDAY
Date: 29 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 April 2011
Approval Date: 29 June 2011
Submission Date: 5 April 2011
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Biostatistics
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cannabis; schizophrenia; childhood abuse and neglect; psychosis
Other ID:, etd-04052011-004241
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:34
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item