Motivation for Substance Use: Why Do People Use Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana?

Renata Glavak Tkalić, Ines Sučić, Ivan Devic


The research aimed to explore the salience of different
motives for substance use among alcohol, tobacco and
marijuana users, and to investigate the difference in motives'
salience with regard to frequency of substance use and
respondents' socio-demographic characteristics. Data were
collected among subsamples of alcohol, tobacco and
marijuana users drawn from the representative sample of
Croatian citizens (N = 4756). Respondents assessed four
types, and for marijuana use five types of motives for each
substance use (enhancement, social, conformity, coping, and
expansion). The enhancement motives were assessed as the
most, and conformity motives as the least salient motives
among all groups of substance users. Generally, enhanced
salience of motives was related to the frequency of all types
of substance use. While age had significant effect on the
salience of social motives for tobacco use, gender and
marital status had significant effect on the salience of all
motives for alcohol use, and age had significant effect only
on the salience of enhancement and social motives for
alcohol use. Among marijuana users, only marital status had
significant effect on the salience of expansion motives for
marijuana use. Results are discussed within the framework of
motivational models for substance use.


alcohol; tobacco; marijuana; motives for substance use; sociodemographics

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