Motivation to use cannabis among young adults at a University in Botswana

  • Bame Maungo Kgatitswe
  • Kennedy Amone-P’Olak
Keywords: Cannabis use, social motive, coping motive, university students, Botswana


In low and middle income countries, cannabis use is common and reported to be rising, especially among adolescents and young  adults. Data on the motives to use cannabis among this group is lacking. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of and motives for using cannabis among 350 University of Botswana students (48.6% male, n=169). Cannabis use was assessed by the revised Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test (CUDIT-R) and motives to use cannabis by Marijuana Motives Measure (MMM). Using both univariable and multivariable regression analyses, the prevalence of cannabis use and the extent to which the social and coping motives predicted cannabis use were assessed in the sample A total of 128 (36.6%) students reported using cannabis at least once in the past six months of whom 82 (64.1%) were male students. Among self-reported users, 16.4% (n=21) were problem users (CUDIT-R score ≥13). Both coping (β = 0.56 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.72)) and social (β =0.33 (95% CI: 0.16, 0.51)) motives significantly predicted cannabis use in univariable regression analyses. When adjusted for social motive, coping motive independently and significantly predicted cannabis use for the total sample (β =0.57 (95% CI: 0.38, 0.77)) and for both male (β =0.47 (95% CI: 0.19, 0.73)) and female (β =0.74 (95% CI: 0.52, 0.99)) students while the influence of social motive attenuated and ceased to be insignificant. In young adults, cannabis use is common and motivated by both coping and social reasons, particularly coping motive. Both motives are essential for designing interventions to reduce cannabis use in educational institutions. Such interventions may include better education on drug and substance use and adaptive coping strategies.

Keywords: Cannabis use, social motive, coping motive, university students, Botswana


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1531-4065
print ISSN: 1531-4065