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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.

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    Abstract

    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.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    Creators/Authors:
    CreatorsEmailORCID
    Shearer, Michael Toddwshearer@zoominternet.net
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmailORCID
    Committee ChairDay, Richardrdfac@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberWilson, JohnJWW@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberDay, Nancynday@pitt.edu
    Title: 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
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: 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.
    Date: 29 June 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 14 April 2011
    Approval Date: 29 June 2011
    Submission Date: 05 April 2011
    Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MS - Master of Science
    URN: etd-04052011-004241
    Uncontrolled Keywords: cannabis; schizophrenia; childhood abuse and neglect; psychosis
    Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Biostatistics
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 14:34
    Last Modified: 18 Apr 2012 12:30
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-04052011-004241/, etd-04052011-004241

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