Cannabis use, schizotypy and personality : associations with cannabis-related problems and emotion recognition

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brittany Elizabeth Blanchard (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kia Asberg

Abstract: Individuals with schizotypy often report more cannabis-related problems, which include cognitive, interpersonal, and social responsibility difficulties. Past studies have observed correlations between the factors of schizotypy (i.e., positive, disorganized, and negative) and the five-factor model of personality. Certain personality traits are also associated with cannabis use. Further, both schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms and cannabis use have been implicated in reduced ability to identify emotional facial expressions, which can lead to greater difficulties in social functioning. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to better understand the associations between cannabis use, schizotypy, and personality. Additionally, this research aims to identify which of the aforementioned variables are most salient in individuals who experience cannabis-related problems and emotional identification deficits. The sample was comprised of 242 undergraduates attending Western Carolina University, and data were collected through self-report measures and an eye tracker. Results from bivariate correlations and non-parametric statistics indicated that cannabis use was associated with higher disorganized schizotypy and total schizotypy, while the number of cannabis-related problems was significantly correlated to all factors of schizotypy. Cannabis use, cannabis-related problems, and schizotypy were associated with lower Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, as well as higher levels of Immoderation and Excitement-Seeking. Individuals who met criteria for cannabis dependence were significantly higher in Excitement-Seeking, but lower in Cooperation, Dutifulness, Achievement-Striving, and Cautiousness compared to those who do not experience cannabis-related problems. Similar to the deficits seen on the schizophreniaspectrum, cannabis use frequency was associated with decreased attention to the left visual field; moreover, cannabis-related problems were negatively correlated to attention to the eyes of most emotional faces. Personality traits such as Conscientiousness were associated with fixation on particular emotional features, as well as accuracy for identifying neutral faces. Taken together, the results of the current study suggest that there are significant associations between cannabis use, schizotypy, and personality, and these variables play a role in cannabis-related problems and facial affect recognition processing. Therefore, prevention of these potential problems should target identification of schizotypal traits, abstinence from cannabis, and social skills building in adolescence and emerging adulthood.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
cannabis, cannabis-related problems, emotion recognition, personality, schizotypy
Marijuana abuse -- Psychological aspects
Marijuana abuse -- Social aspects
Schizotypal personality disorder -- Effect of drugs on
Schizotypal personality disorder -- Social aspects
Personality -- Effect of drugs on

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