Depressive symptoms, ruminative thinking, marijuana use motives, and marijuana outcomes: A multiple mediation model among college students in five countriesedit
Background: Previous studies have evidenced that rumination and drinking motives may mediate the association between depressive symptoms and alcohol outcomes. The present study cross-culturally examined whether a similar mediation model may extend to marijuana. Specifically, we tested distinct rumination facets (problem-focused thoughts, counterfactual thinking, repetitive thoughts, and anticipatory thoughts) and marijuana use motives (social, coping, expansion, conformity, enhancement) as double-mediators of the paths from depressive symptoms to marijuana outcomes (use and consequences). Method: A comprehensive mediation path model was tested in a cross-sectional sample of college student marijuana users (n = 1175) from five countries (U.S., Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, Netherlands). Multi-group models were tested to determine if the proposed mediational model was invariant across sex and different cultures/countries. Results: Depressive symptoms and marijuana outcomes were indirectly associated through ruminative thinking and marijuana motives. Specifically, higher depressive symptoms were associated with higher problem-focused thoughts; which in turn were associated with: a) higher endorsement of coping motives which in turn was associated with higher marijuana use and related consequences and b) lower endorsement of enhancement motives which in turn was associated with lower marijuana use and related consequences. The multi-group analyses showed that the model was invariant across sex and the five countries. Conclusions: The present research supports the existence of a universal (i.e., cross-national invariant) negative affect regulation pathway to marijuana use/misuse similar to those previously found with alcohol. Additional research is needed to confirm the role of enhancement motives in the associations of depression, rumination and marijuana outcomes.