Addict Behav. 2022 Feb 4;129:107275. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107275. Online ahead of print.
Young adulthood (ages 18 to 30 years old), a developmental age of exploration, is marked by new experiences and transitions. Cannabis use frequency is highest in young adulthood compared to other age periods. Social anxiety (characterized by fear, shyness, and inhibition in social situations where scrutiny and judgment is possible) is also prevalent during young adulthood. Social anxiety may be a complex predictor of cannabis use frequency and problems (e.g., any negative physical, emotional, or social outcome from use). Social anxiety may act as a risk factor as individuals may use cannabis frequently to manage their fear of negative evaluation and associated unpleasant affective states. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to quantify the magnitude of the associations between social anxiety and two cannabis variables (frequency of use and problems) in young adulthood. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to identify studies that included measures of social anxiety and at least one cannabis-related variable of interest among young adults. Eighteen studies were included in the meta-analysis. Results revealed a small, statistically significant positive association between social anxiety and cannabis problems (r = 0.197, k = 16, p = <0.001), and a nonsignificant association between social anxiety and cannabis use frequency (r = 0.002, k = 16, p = 0.929). The association between social anxiety and cannabis use frequency was moderated by the mean age such that samples with older mean ages exhibited a stronger correlation. Additionally, the association between social anxiety and cannabis problems was moderated by clinically significant levels of social anxiety, such that samples with fewer participants who met clinical levels of social anxiety exhibit a stronger correlation. This meta-analysis supports the idea that there is a complex relation between social anxiety and cannabis outcomes during young adulthood.
Source: ncbi 2