Daily marijuana use and suicidality: the unique impact of social anxiety

Julia D. Buckner, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Audubon Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, United States. jbuckner@lsu.edu
Thomas E. Joiner
Norman B. Schmidt
Michael J. Zvolensky


Despite a clear relationship between marijuana use and suicidality, little is known about psychological vulnerability factors that may interact with marijuana use to increase suicidality among this high-risk group. The present study examined the moderational impact of social anxiety on the relationship between marijuana use status (current users vs abstainers) and suicidality among 343 community adults. We also examined whether social anxiety moderated the relation between more frequent use (daily vs less frequent) among the 134 current marijuana users. Although social anxiety did not moderate the relation between use status and suicidality, it did moderate the relation between daily use status and suicidality after controlling for a wide range of relevant variables (e.g., demographics, depression, negative affect, and other types of anxiety). The overall model accounted for 59% of the variance in suicidality such that daily marijuana users with elevated social anxiety reported the highest suicidality. Findings highlight the importance of considering social anxiety in efforts to understand and prevent suicidality among this high-risk population.