A reversal theory approach to predicting and explaining university students' attitudes and use of marijuana.

Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Lafreniere, Kathryn,


Psychology, Behavioral.




Marijuana is still the most used illicit substance in North America (Brannon & Feist, 2000). Previous research on marijuana has generally been atheoretical (Goode, 1993). The present study was designed to consider marijuana use within a reversal theory (Apter, 1982) framework, to describe some of the characteristics of people who use marijuana in reversal theory terms, and to provide further construct validity to reversal theory concepts. The participants ( N = 169), undergraduates from the University of Windsor, completed several questionnaires which included measures of reversal theory (Motivational Style Profile; Apter, Mallows, & Williams, 1992), grade point average, life values, liberalism, religiosity, delinquency, creativity, attitudes toward legalization of drugs, attitudes toward marijuana, and personal drug use. The findings indicated 63.9% of those sampled had used marijuana either currently or in the past. Also, those who had used marijuana were typically paratelic and negativistic dominant, and had participated in more delinquent activities than those who indicated they had never used marijuana. Therefore, the present study suggests that reversal theory is a useful theory in which to consider marijuana use. The present study also provided support for the construct validity of the reversal theory constructs of paratelic dominance and negativistic dominance. Directions for future research include relating state-related measures of metamotivational style to marijuana use, and using the Negativism Dominance Scale (McDermott, 1987) to determine whether marijuana users are proactively or reactively negativistic.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2003 .S27. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 65-07, Section: B, page: 3693. Adviser: Kathryn Lafreniere. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2004.

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