Background: The present study examined the relation between two different acculturation measures (i.e., linguistic acculturation
and the acculturation strategies integration, separation and marginalization) and past year cannabis use. Additionally, we
studied the mediating role of affiliation with cannabis-using peers.
Method: Data were utilized from i4culture, a Dutch
study on immigrant adolescents and young adults aged 15-24 years. Participants belonged to the five largest immigrant populations
in the Netherlands, living in or around the four major Dutch cities: Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. In total,
771 adolescents and young adults (mean age 19.29, SD = 2.61, 53.8% female) from Surinamese (n = 210, 27.2%), Moroccan (n =
209, 27.1%), Turkish (n = 110, 14.3%), Antillean (n = 109, 14.1%), and Asian (n = 133, 17.3%) backgrounds participated. With
questionnaires, past year cannabis use, acculturation strategy, linguistic acculturation, and affiliation with cannabis-using
peers were assessed.
Results: Using logistic regression analyses, we found no relation between acculturation strategy
and past year cannabis use (OR = 1.25, p = 0.38 for separation vs integration and OR = 0.86, p = 0.50 for marginalization
vs integration). Linguistic acculturation was positively related to cannabis use (OR = 2.20, p < 0.01). Affiliation with
cannabis-using peers partly mediated this relation (OR = 1.09, p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Non-Western immigrant youngsters
who speak the host culture's language at home are more likely to use cannabis than youngsters who speak their native language
at home. The former group is more likely to affiliate with cannabis-using peers, which partly explains their increased risk
of cannabis use.