Marijuana use motives: Concurrent relations to frequency of past 30-day use and anxiety sensitivity among young adult marijuana smokers

Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, Michael J. Zvolensky, Amit Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present investigation examined two theoretically relevant aspects of marijuana motives using the Marijuana Motives Measure (MMM) [Simons, J., Correia, C. J., Carey, K. B., & Borsari, B. E. (1998). Validating a five-factor marijuana motives measure: Relations with use, problems, and alcohol motives. Journal of Counseling Psychology 45, 265-273] among 141 (78 female) young adults (Mage = 20.17, S.D. = 3.34). The first objective was to evaluate the incremental validity of marijuana motives in relation to frequency of past 30-day use after controlling for the theoretically relevant factors of the number of years using marijuana (lifetime), current levels of alcohol, as well as tobacco smoking use. As expected, coping, enhancement, social, and expansion motives each were uniquely and significantly associated with past 30-day marijuana use over and above the covariates; conformity motives were not a significant predictor. A second aim was to explore whether coping, but no other marijuana motive, was related to the emotional vulnerability individual difference factor of anxiety sensitivity (fear of anxiety). As hypothesized, after controlling for number of years using marijuana (lifetime), past 30-day marijuana use, current levels of alcohol consumption, and cigarettes smoked per day, anxiety sensitivity was incrementally and uniquely related to coping motives for marijuana use, but not other motives. These results are discussed in relation to the clinical implications of better understanding the role of motivation for marijuana use among emotionally vulnerable young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse research grants (1 R01 DA018734-01A1, 1 R21 DA016227-01, and 1 R03 DA016566-01A2) awarded to Dr. Zvolensky and a National Research Service Award predoctoral fellowship (F31 MH073205-01) awarded to Amit Bernstein.


  • Affect regulation
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Coping
  • Marijuana
  • Motives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology


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