Contextual Effects of Neighborhoods and Schools on Adolescent and Young Adult Marijuana Use in the United States

Carly E. Milliren, Tracy K. Richmond, Clare R. Evans, Erin C. Dunn, Renee M. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about the unique contribution of schools vs neighborhoods in driving adolescent marijuana use. This study examined the relative contribution of each setting and the influence of school and neighborhood socioeconomic status on use. We performed a series of cross-classified multilevel logistic models predicting past 30-day adolescent (N = 18 329) and young adult (N = 13 908) marijuana use using data from Add Health. Marijuana use differed by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and public assistance in adjusted models. Variance parameters indicated a high degree of clustering by school (σ2 = 0.30) and less pronounced clustering by neighborhood (σ2 = 0.06) in adolescence when accounting for both levels simultaneously in a cross-classified multilevel model. Clustering by school persisted into young adulthood (σ2 = 0.08). Parental receipt of public assistance increased the likelihood of use during adolescence (odds ratio = 1.39; 95% confidence interval: 1.19-1.59), and higher parental education was associated with increased likelihood of use in young adulthood. These findings indicate that both contexts may be promising locations for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSubstance Abuse: Research and Treatment
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Marijuana
  • adolescence
  • contextual effects
  • cross-classified models
  • emerging adulthood
  • multilevel modeling
  • neighborhood
  • school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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