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Associations of Perceived Stress, Depressive Symptomatology and Cannabis Use among Students at the University of Twente

Laatsch, Jonathan Leonard (2019) Associations of Perceived Stress, Depressive Symptomatology and Cannabis Use among Students at the University of Twente.

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Abstract:Background: Previous research in terms of cross-sectional or longitudinal studies aimed to explain the relationships between perceived stress, mental health of adolescents and substance use. Yet, the concepts have only been solitarily associated with each other. It is not fully understood how all these concepts are associated among one another. Neither is clear whether significant differences between cannabis users and non-users in relation to the experience of perceived stress and depressive symptomatology exist. Aim: This study aimed to identify the prevalence of perceived stress, depressive symptomatology and cannabis use among students at the University of Twente. Additionally, this research aimed to test for significant differences between two groups, cannabis users and non-users in relation to perceived stress and depressive symptomatology. Further, this researched aimed to check for significant correlations among the concepts mentioned, and to control for depressive symptomatology as possible mediator in the relationship between perceived stress and cannabis use. Methods: This study (N = 1429) used a cross-sectional online survey-based design. Frequency analyses were used to identify the prevalence of perceived stress, depressive symptomatology and cannabis use among students. An independent samples t-test was used to test for differences between groups. Pearson Correlation was used to analyse associations between the concepts and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify depressive symptomatology as possible mediator between perceived stress and cannabis use. Results: Perceived stress appeared to be moderate. A considerable amount of the population was identified with either mild, moderate or severe depressive symptomatology and the prevalence of cannabis use among students was heightened. It could be shown that cannabis users and non-users differ significantly in the experience of depressive symptomatology but not in levels of perceived stress. Perceived stress could not be shown to be correlated with cannabis use, yet, perceived stress was correlated with depressive symptomatology and depressive symptomatology with cannabis use. Depressive symptomatology could not be proven to function as mediator in the relationship between perceived stress and cannabis use. Conclusion: The results found underline the importance of preventing high levels of perceived stress and depressive symptomatology among students. Further research is needed to assess and evaluate appropriate means to handle student stress and well-being.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78452
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