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Cannabis Use: Insights from Social Control Theory and the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey

Date

2016-04-21

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Type

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

Social control theory focuses on why some people do not commit deviant behaviours, such as illicit drug use. It proposes that bonding to conventional society constrains deviant conduct. In the book Causes of Delinquency, Hirschi distinguished four elements of social bonds: attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief. This study draws upon data from the 2012 Canadian Alcohol and Drug Monitor Survey to examine the effect of social control theory, specifically the element of attachment, on controlling cannabis use. This study also uses the element of attachment to interpret gender and rural/non-rural area differences in cannabis use. Two hypotheses are offered: (1) females are less likely to use cannabis than males because females have greater attachment to others; (2) rural residents are less likely to use cannabis than non-rural residents because rural residents have greater attachment to others. The research methods in the study are cross-tabulation analysis and binary logistic regression. The statistical analysis results support both hypotheses: females have a significantly lower rate of cannabis use than males and rural residents have a significantly lower rate of cannabis use than non-rural residents. Having greater attachment to others may be associated with a decreased rate of cannabis use. Policy and further research recommendations are made.

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Keywords

Cannabis Use, Social Control Theory, Gender, Rural and Non-rural Areas

Citation

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Sociology

Program

Sociology

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