Assessing the relationship between neuropsychological constructs and alcohol use among college students

Louis Francis Ruffolo, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between alcohol use and the neuropsychological constructs of executive cognitive functions and visual-spatial abilities in a sample of predominately first-year college students. Previous research investigating the relationship between these functions and alcohol use in social-drinker populations is equivocal. For this study, N = 94 participants were divided into two groups (frequent heavy drinking and non-heavy drinking) based upon their self-reported drinking. They were assessed through a brief battery of neuropsychological assessment instruments, behavior rating scales, and alcohol-use measures. Results showed greater and more frequent alcohol use and related negative consequences for those students classified as heavy drinkers than those classified as non-heavy drinkers. The groups, however, were generally indistinguishable based on their performance on neuropsychological tests, though the heavy-drinking students did report more disinhibited and impulsive behavior. Potential explanations for these results, limitations of the study, and directions for future research on college drinking are identified. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Louis Francis Ruffolo, "Assessing the relationship between neuropsychological constructs and alcohol use among college students" (2003). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3103722.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3103722

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