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Journal Article

Citation

Giancola PR, Moss HB, Martin CS, Kirisci L, Tarter RE. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 1996; 20(4): 740-744.

Affiliation

Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1996, John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

8800393

Abstract

This study assessed the ability of executive cognitive functioning (ECF) to predict reactive aggression in boys at high and low risk for substance abuse using a 2-year prospective design. ECF is defined as the self-regulation of goal-directed behavior. Reactive aggression involves impulsive hostile reactions committed with little forethought. ECF was measured using five neuropsychological tests in 198 10- to 12-year-old boys with (SA+) and without (SA-) a paternal history of substance abuse/dependence. Reactive aggression was measured, 2 years later, using a composite index of items derived from two self-report measures. It was hypothesized that ECF would predict reactive aggression, and that this relation would be stronger for the SA+ compared with the SA- boys. SA+ subjects demonstrated lower ECF scores and higher reactive aggression scores, compared with SA- controls. ECF predicted reactive aggression in the SA+ group (beta = 0.37, p = 0.001), but not in the SA- group (beta = 0.09, p = NS). This suggests that compromised ECF may be a risk factor for reactive aggression in SA+ youth. The hypothesis that the relation between ECF and reactive aggression is a manifestation of a mild dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex is discussed.


Language: en

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