The Influence of Inhibitory Control and Episodic Memory on the Risky Sexual Behavior of Young Adult Cannabis Users

Cannabis use is associated with risky sexual behavior (RSB) and sex-related negative health consequences. This investigation examined the role of inhibitory control and episodic memory in predicting RSB and sex-related negative consequences among current cannabis users. Findings indicated that the relationships among cannabis, neurocognition, and sexual-risk varied according to the dimension of neurocognition and the parameter of RSB in question. Specifically, more risk-taking was associated with more RSB. Furthermore, amount of recent cannabis use was associated with more RSB and sex-related negative consequences, but only among those with worse performances on a measure of decision-making and of risk-taking. Contrary to hypotheses, worse episodic memory also significantly predicted higher overall sexual-risk and decreased safe-sex practices. Results indicate that worse neurocognitive performance in the areas of risk-taking, decision-making, and episodic memory may influence the degree to which cannabis users engage in RSB and experience negative health consequences as a result.

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