Loading Events

« All Events

Thesis Defence: Cannabis and Alcohol Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Anxiety

June 5 at 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Christopher Nelson, supervised by Dr. Maya Libben & Dr. Zach Walsh, will defend their thesis titled “Cannabis and Alcohol Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Anxiety” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology.

An abstract for Christopher Nelson thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in person defences.


Response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with increased mental health problems and substance use. In particular, the number of individuals reporting moderate-to-severe levels of anxiety has significantly increased; concurrently many of those who use alcohol and cannabis have increased their consumption. Research demonstrates that anxiolytic motives are associated with the use of cannabis and alcohol. Studies investigating the effects of cannabis and alcohol on anxiety also indicate bidirectional responses. To our knowledge, the nature of these associations, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has not been systematically examined. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of cannabis and alcohol use on self-reported anxiety over the course of the pandemic. A total of 181 participants completed a battery of questionnaires, which included assessments of cannabis and alcohol use as well as self-reported anxiety, before and after the pandemic. The study’s findings yielded no significant differences between participants’ self-reported anxiety levels between these time periods. Furthermore, there was no discernable impact of cannabis or alcohol use on change in self-reported anxiety, even when controlling for COVID-19 related anxiety. Notably, gender emerged as a significant factor associated with overall self-reported anxiety levels. Specifically, males reported higher levels of anxiety compared to their female counterparts. These empirical findings contribute to our understanding of the complex relationship between substance use and anxiety across the COVID-19 pandemic.


June 5
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm


University Centre (UNC)
3272 University Way
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada
+ Google Map

Additional Info

Room Number
Registration/RSVP Required
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Arts and Humanities, Health, Lifestyle and Wellness, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates