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Correlates of college student marijuana use: results of a US National Survey.

This study examines which personal student background and college characteristics are associated with marijuana use. A self-administered survey was mailed to a national representative sample of 17592 students at 140 American colleges. One of four (24.8%) students reported using marijuana within the past year. Rates of use among the colleges ranged from zero per cent at the lowest use schools to 54% at the highest use schools. Multiple regression models, constructed to determine the college and student characteristics predicting marijuana use, suggest that use was higher among students at non-commuter colleges and at colleges with pubs on campus. Student characteristics associated with marijuana use included being single, white, spending more time at parties and socializing with friends, and less time studying. Marijuana use was higher among students who participate in other high risk behaviors such as binge drinking, cigarette smoking and having multiple sexual partners, and among students who perceived parties as important, and religion and community service as not important. The study points to the social nature of drug use in college, and demonstrates that this behavior is of continuing concern for public health.