Associations of childhood sociability and responsibility with cannabis use trajectories during adolescence: results from a prospective population-based birth cohort study


This study aims to identify distinct trajectories of cannabis use during adolescence and examine whether Sociability (ability to relate to others) and Responsibility (ability to integrate a community setting) during childhood are associated with these trajectories, accounting for individual and familial confounders. Population-based cohort study (1998–2019): 1511 children from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development were followed between ages 5 months and 19 years. We identified developmental trajectories of adolescent cannabis use (assessed biyearly between ages 12 and 19 years) using a group-based trajectory model. We performed multinomial regression analyses to estimate the association between childhood Sociability and Responsibility assessed yearly between ages 6 and 12 years, and cannabis use trajectories. At 19 years, 62.8% (807/1286) of adolescents had used cannabis at least once in their lifetime, 44.2% had used at least once in the past 12 months (504/1140), and 6.8% were reporting daily use (77/1140). We identified three cannabis use trajectories: nonusers (n = 577, 38.2%), late users (n = 690, 45.7%; mean age of initiation: 16.2 ± 1.6), and early users (n = 244, 16.2%; mean age of initiation: 14.1 ± 1.3). Compared with Nonusers, children with low Sociability had a lower risk for late (OR, 0.43; 95 CI 0.27; 0.68) and early (OR, 0.22; 95 CI 0.12; 0.41) cannabis use. Children with low Responsibility were at higher risk of being Early users (OR, 2.23; 95 CI 1.13; 4.37) but not Late users (OR, 1.20; 95 CI 0.71; 2.03). Understanding the multiple dimensions of social skills and their association with cannabis use trajectories may help improve the effectiveness of evidence-based prevention strategies.

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We want to thank all participating families for their continued commitment to the study.


The Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD) was supported by funding from the Québec Government’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Family Affairs, The Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, the Robert-Sauvé Research Institute of Health and Security at Work, and the Québec Statistics Institute (ISQ). Additional funding was received by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec—Santé (FRQS), the Fonds de Recherche du Québec—Societé et Culture (FRQSC), the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the St Justine Research Centre. The research leading to these results has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under REA grant agreement n. PCOFUND-GA-2013–609102, through the PRESTIGE program coordinated by Campus France; the MILDECA (Mission Minsitérielle de Lutte contre les Drogues et Conduites Addictives); the University of Auvergne; the CMG (Collège de la Médecine Générale de France).

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Data collection and analysis were performed by CL, BP, MO, QX and SC. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Catherine Laporte and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. SC and CL have full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

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Correspondence to Sylvana M. Côté.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The QLSCD protocol was approved by the Quebec Statistics Institute and St Justine University Hospital’s Research Center ethics committee. Written informed consent was obtained for all participants.

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Laporte, C., Pereira, B., Massimilliano, O. et al. Associations of childhood sociability and responsibility with cannabis use trajectories during adolescence: results from a prospective population-based birth cohort study. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2021).

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  • Cannabis
  • Social skills
  • Sociability
  • Responsibility
  • Adolescence
  • Prevention
  • Trajectory