PLoS One. 2022 Feb 14;17(2):e0263533. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263533. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: School policies and programs are important in preventing Cannabis use among youth. This study uses an innovative digital citizen science approach to determine the association between Cannabis use and suicidal ideation among youth while investigating how school health policies mediate this association.
METHODS: The study engaged 818 youth (aged 13-18 years) and 27 educators as citizen scientists via their own smartphones. Youths responded to time-triggered validated surveys and ecological momentary assessments to report on a complex set of health behaviours and outcomes. Similarly, educators’ reported on substance misuse and mental health school policies and programs. Multivariable logistic regression modeling and mediation analyses were employed.
RESULTS: 412 youth provided data on substance misuse and suicidal ideation. Cannabis use and other factors such as bullying, other illicit drug use, and youth who identified as females or other gender were associated with increased suicidal ideation. However, school policies and programs for substance misuse prevention did not mediate the association between Cannabis use and suicidal ideation.
CONCLUSIONS: In the digital age, it is critical to reimagine the role of schools in health policy interventions. Digital citizen science not only provides an opportunity to democratize school policymaking and implementation processes, but also provides a voice to vulnerable youth.
Source: ncbi 2