Increases in marijuana use in recent years highlight the importance of understanding how marijuana affects mental health. Of particular relevance is the effect of marijuana use on anxiety and depression given that marijuana use is highest among late adolescents/early adults, the same age range in which risk for anxiety and depression is the highest. Here we examine how marijuana use moderates the effects of temperament on level of anxiety and depression in a prospective design in which baseline marijuana use and temperament predict anxiety and depression one year later. We found that harm avoidance (HA) is associated with higher anxiety and depression a year later, but only among those low in marijuana use. Those higher in marijuana use show no relation between HA and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Marijuana use also moderated the effect of novelty seeking (NS), with symptoms of anxiety and depression increasing with NS only among those with high marijuana use. NS was unrelated to symptoms of anxiety and depression among those low in marijuana use. The temperament dimension of reward dependence was unrelated to anxiety and depression symptoms. Our results suggest that marijuana use does not have an invariant relationship with anxiety and depression, and that the effects of relatively stable temperament dimensions can be moderated by other contextual factors.
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