The Importance of Life Goals in the Treatment of Marijuana Dependence

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Virginia Tech

Theory and previous research indicate that a person's broader set of life goals may have motivational properties for specific behavior change efforts. The present study examined the types of life goals and ratings of life goal attributes as predictors of marijuana treatment outcomes in a sample of marijuana dependent individuals. Results were generally not consistent with hypotheses. It was expected that ratings of conflict between life goals and marijuana use would be associated with less marijuana use and fewer related problems and dependence symptoms following treatment, but results indicated few associations between life goal ratings and treatment outcome variables. Similarly, types of goals expected to be associated with better treatment outcome were not significantly correlated with reductions in outcome variables at follow-up assessments. Some support was demonstrated for a causal model in which goal conflict with marijuana use influenced posttreatment symptoms of dependence via indirect associations with outcome expectancies and readiness to change.

goal striving, marijuana, addiction treatment