The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Michael Mills

Third Advisor

Erin Heath

Fourth Advisor

John Eller

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Marijuana, Academic Involvement, Social Involvement


This quantitative study examined the effects of marijuana on academic and social involvement in undergraduates using a structural equation model. The study was conducted at a mid-sized comprehensive community college in the mid-West and was guided by Astin’s (1985) theory of student involvement and by Anderson’s (1998) cultural identity theory of drug abuse.

A survey link was e-mailed to all 4,527 eligible students at the college and 573 students participated in the study. Of the 573 students, 194 identified as users of marijuana and were used as the primary basis of the study. The data from the survey were used in a structural equation model to determine correlations between academic and social involvement and marijuana use. Independent samples t-tests were also used to compare users to non-users of marijuana.

The overall results of the study showed no significant correlation between marijuana use and academic and social involvement. Further, a positive, significant difference regarding academic involvement was revealed between infrequent users of marijuana compared to non-users. A negative, significant difference regarding social involvement was also found between more than once daily users of marijuana and non-users.


To my wife, Brittany, my daughters, Alexa and Aubrey, my advisor, Dr. Steven McCullar, my cohort comrades, my family, my friends, and my dissertation committee: The following song written by J.R.R. Tolkien summarizes my journey more eloquently than I could ever. Thank you all for your wisdom, guidance, and above all patience.

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.

The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter 1



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