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The present investigation examined the explanatory (i.e,. mediating) role of distress tolerance (DT) in the relation between posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptom severity and marijuana use coping motives. The sample consisted of 142 adults (46.5% women; M(age) = 22.18, SD = 7.22, range = 18-55), who endorsed exposure to at least one Criterion A traumatic life event (DSM-IV-TR, 2000) and reported marijuana use within the past 30 days. As predicted, results demonstrated that DT partially mediated the relation between PTS symptom severity and coping-oriented marijuana use. These preliminary results suggest that DT may be an important cognitive-affective mechanism underlying the PTS-marijuana use coping motives association. Theoretically, trauma-exposed marijuana users with greater PTS symptom severity may use marijuana to cope with negative mood states, at least partially because of a lower perceived capacity to withstand emotional distress.

Original publication




Journal article


J Anxiety Disord

Publication Date





437 - 443


Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Adult, Affect, Female, Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Marijuana Smoking, Middle Aged, Regression Analysis, Self Medication, Severity of Illness Index, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Stress, Psychological