The combined effects of parental divorce and parental history of depression on cannabis use in young adults in France

Kwame S. Sakyi, Maria Melchior, Aude Chollet, Pamela J. Surkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The joint effects of multiple social risk factors on substance use, such as parental divorce and parental history of depression, have rarely been studied in young adult offspring. Methods: We examined the combined effects of parental divorce and parental history of depression on current cannabis use among a community sample of young adults in France. Parental divorce was ascertained as divorce or separation before 2009. Parental history of depression based on parental reports of depression (1989-2009) and offspring reports of parental lifetime history of depression. Current cannabis use was defined as use at least once in the preceding 12. months. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression models controlling for young adult and parental socio-demographic variables. Results: Approximately one fourth of youth (23%) reported consuming cannabis at least once in the past year. At the same time, 15% had parents who were divorced and 30% parents with a history of depression. The association between parental divorce and cannabis use in young adults was not statistically significant (adjusted OR: 1.50; 95% CI: 0.97-2.31). History of parental depression conferred a marginally statistically significant 42% higher odds of young adult cannabis use (adjusted OR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.00-2.01). Young adults who experienced both parental history of divorce and depression were more than two times as likely to be current cannabis users compared to those who experienced neither of these (adjusted OR: 2.38; 95% CI: 1.26-4.48). Conclusion: Our findings highlight the critical importance of considering familial context in understanding cannabis use in young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Cannabis use
  • Parental divorce
  • Parental history of depression
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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