Interactions of protective behavioral strategies and cannabis use motives: An online survey among past-month users

Genrich, Gregor; Zeller, Céline; Znoj, Hans Jörg (2021). Interactions of protective behavioral strategies and cannabis use motives: An online survey among past-month users. PLoS ONE, 16(3), e0247387. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0247387

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Given the constant high prevalence of cannabis use and cannabis dependence, it is important
to determine protective behaviors on the individual level, which buffer the effects of risk
factors. Protective Behavioral Strategies for Marijuana (PBSM) have been identified to play
an important role for harm reduction in adolescent and young adult users. In the present
study, we analyzed if PBSM moderate the effects of use motives (captured by the Marijuana
Motives Measure, MMM) on the severity of dependence beyond the effects of age, gender,
education and cannabis use frequency. We used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to validate
the German versions of PBSM and MMM. Data was gathered in an online survey distributed
to randomly chosen households in the city of Bern in the German speaking part of
Switzerland. The final sample comprised 362 past-month users. Results showed negative
correlations between PBSM and cannabis use frequency and severity of dependence. The
only motives being correlated with severity of dependence were coping and routine, beyond
frequency of use. PBSM significantly moderated the effect only of routine motives on the
severity of dependence. However, only a few cases who used PBSM extensively were
affected. PBSM appear to be an important factor to reduce harm among past-month users
but not among those with dependent use patterns, e.g. coping and routine users. Clinical
implications are discussed. The routine factor adds significantly to the MMM and should be
implemented and improved in future studies. PBSM as well as the MMM can be used in
future studies in German speaking populations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Genrich, Gregor Raffael; Zeller, Céline Jacqueline and Znoj, Hans Jörg


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Public Library of Science




Sina Röthlisberger

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2021 16:53

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2021 16:53

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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