Date of Award

June 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Natalie Russo

Keywords

cannabis use, mentalizing, social cognition, social emotional functioning, theory of mind

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Over the past decade, the United States has had a 58% increase in the number of daily or near-daily cannabis users. Frequent cannabis users are at increased risk for developing cannabis use disorders (CUDs) and psychosocial dysfunction is a key criterion for CUDs. Recent studies demonstrate the association between cannabis use and interpersonal dysfunction, such as perceiving others to be more hostile, being socially withdrawn, and being less genuine during social interactions. One approach to better understand the interpersonal dysfunction associated with cannabis use frequency is by examining cannabis users’ social cognitive abilities. The present study aimed to explore performance on an emotion recognition (Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test; RMET) and on mentalizing (Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition; MASC), as two subcomponents of social cognitive abilities, in recent cannabis use and lifetime cannabis use by assessing varying use frequency, quantity, and duration. Results revealed that in a wide range of cannabis users, the number of days of recent cannabis use and the cumulative amount of cannabis they have been exposed to was not associated with social cognitive abilities.

Access

Open Access

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