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Description of communities that address "marijuana" in a virtual social network

Grant number: 10/16527-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2010
Effective date (End): November 30, 2011
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nursing - Psychiatric Nursing
Principal Investigator:Clarissa Mendonca Corradi Webster
Grantee:Mirela Barbalho Benedicto
Host Institution: Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto (EERP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The onset of substance use typically occurs in youth and the most widely used illicit substance is cannabis. Currently, different social actors are positioning themselves concerning the consumption of marijuana, both highlighting damage which may arise from this consumption, and questioning the legislation controlling this. Virtual social networks have been demonstrated to be important spaces of interaction between young people, making it possible to exchange experiences and form opinions. Among these, in Brazil, Orkut is the most widely used, providing space for the creation and participation in communities. These communities have been widely used to discuss topics related to drug use, among them, cannabis. Considering young people represent the majority of Orkut users, this becomes an important space to understand how this issue has been discussed by this group. Therefore, the aim of this study is to describe the communities of a virtual social network that discuss topics related to marijuana, specifically, to identify communities that address the theme, to describe the profile of these, and to characterize them regarding their position on the consumption of this substance. Quantitative, descriptive, transversal study. The virtual social communities of Orkut that discuss topics related to marijuana will be analyzed. A form will be used to register the pertinent information of the community description, position in relation to marijuana use and changes in legislation, characteristics of moderation, number of members and the communities' profile. Data will be organized into an Excel spreadsheet and then exported to the statistical software EpiInfo version 3.5.1 which will be used for the descriptive statistical analysis. The intention of this study is to understand how this discussion has been conducted among young people and from that, develop approaches that are close to the repertories used by this population, helping them to reflect on the consumption of this substance and make informed decisions.Keywords: cannabis; Internet; youth

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