Young people classified as bisexual not only use cannabis more frequently but also are more likely to use it to cope with mental health issues and for what researchers call experiential “enhancement.”
A recent study, titled “The Pot at the End of the Rainbow,” is one of the first to examine motives for cannabis use among sexual minorities quantitatively. Led by Washington State University psychologists, researchers analyzed survey data from nearly 4,700 university students from across the country. Of the participants, 23% were classified as bisexual after indicating that they were not exclusively attracted to one gender.
“The group classified as bisexual was more likely to report using cannabis to cope as well as for enhancement, which is a bit surprising,” said Kyle Schofield, a WSU Ph.D. candidate in psychology and first author on the study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. “The coping motive was less surprising because we also saw that the group classified as bisexual reported higher levels of all the mental health problems that we looked at in the study.”
The bisexual group reported higher levels of cannabis use disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, depression and suicidality than either the groups classified as exclusively “straight” or “gay”—findings that are in line with previous research.
For this study, Schofield worked with his advising professor Carrie Cuttler to analyze archival data from an Addictions Research Team survey, which combines participant pools from 10 universities across the U.S.
Cayman joins the Cayman Biomedical Research Institute (CABRI) in recognizing the ten undergraduate students who have been awarded fellowships by CABRI for the 2022-2023 academic year. The fellowship awards are given to talented undergraduates that are pursuing a research project of their own under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
Undergraduate fellowships are awarded by CABRI on a competitive basis each year to students who have been offered an unpaid research position. “These fellowships provide a valuable opportunity to undergraduates by allowing them to focus on gaining laboratory experience that builds their scientific talent,” said Kourtney Goode, Ph.D., Academic Relations Coordinator at Cayman.
CABRI funds expanded opportunities for emerging scientists and awards research grants to academic scientists that address basic science research objectives with the highest unmet needs.
The 2022 recipients include two students working with Ryan McLaughlin, an assistant professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience affiliated with the WSU Department of Psychology:
Addison Thompson, whose project is titled “Using Rodent Models to Interrogate Effects of Cannabis Use During Pregnancy on the Postpartum Phenotype’; and McKenna Spencer, whose project is titled “Cannabis Use in Females: Influence of Ovarian Hormones on Cannabis Vapor Self-Administration in Female Rats.”
If you have a temperamental toddler it could be worth incorporating cuddles into their bedtime routine, a new study suggests.
Researchers have discovered passive tricks to help a child fall asleep – for example cuddling, singing and reading – are positively linked to a child’s temperament.
On the other hand taking more active measures like walking, going on a drive or playing with your child appear to have a negative effect, the study suggests.
A team of international scientists asked 841 parents across 14 countries to participate, who all had toddlers aged between 17 and 40 months.
Christie Pham, a psychology graduate student and one of the authors from Washington State University, said: “Our study shows that a parent’s sleep-supporting techniques are substantially associated with their child’s temperament traits across cultures, potentially impacting their development.
“For example, countries with higher reliance on passive strategies had toddlers with higher sociability scores.
“Our results demonstrate the importance of sleep promotion and suggest that parental sleep practices could be potential targets for interventions to mitigate risk posed by challenging temperament profiles across cultures.”
Craig Parks has been named associate vice president for health sciences academic programs and policy within Washington State University Health Sciences, effective Sept. 1. He will retain his current role as vice provost for system innovation and policy on a part-time basis until Jan. 1, 2023, as well as continue to act as the university’s accreditation liaison officer (ALO) in the Provost’s Office on a part-time basis.
“Dr. Parks is an accomplished institutional leader with a heart for the health sciences and growing academic programs,” said Daryll DeWald, vice president for WSU Health Sciences and chancellor for WSU Spokane. “His expertise is vital to our health sciences colleges’ successful accreditation processes. I look forward to working with him as we continue our collective vision for expanding WSU Health Sciences across Washington State.”
Parks arrived at WSU in 1993 as a visiting faculty member in the Department of Psychology, where he later received a permanent appointment. He joined the Office of the Provost in 2015 and has been serving as the vice provost for system innovation and policy since 2019, where he supports academic initiatives across the WSU system and oversees federal and state academic policy. In his new role, Parks will be responsible for supporting academic program development as well as the accreditation processes for the colleges of Nursing, Medicine, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
A clinical psychology doctoral student who has worked with populations ranging from young children and university students to retirees and incarcerated men is serving as the new student regent on the WSU Board of Regents.
Reanne Cunningham Chilton was selected by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to serve on the WSU Board of Regents for academic year 2022–23. She is currently in her fifth year of the clinical psychology doctoral program, having already graduated from WSU with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language teacher education and a master’s degree in special education and teaching.
Prior to serving as the student regent, Chilton got involved with the Department of Psychology’s student organization. She went on to serve as a senator for the department in the Graduate and Professional Student Association, winning its senator of the year award in 2021. She most recently held the role of GPSA president this past academic year.
“I tend to not be someone who thinks of themselves for different roles, but when it came to the GPSA presidency and before that with my work within my department, I decided after not to be the person to decide I don’t fit and that I felt that I can make an impact.”
Chilton was also recently recognized as a recipient of the President’s Award for Leadership.