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Journal Article


Giancola PR, Zeichner A, Yarnell JE, Dickson KE. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 1996; 20(6): 1094-1098.


Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213-2593, USA.


(Copyright © 1996, John Wiley and Sons)






The purpose of this study was to assess the relation between Executive Cognitive Functioning (ECF) and the adverse consequences of alcohol consumption. ECF encompasses "higher order" cognitive abilities involved in goal-directed behavior, such as attentional control, mental flexibility, planning, and self-monitoring. Impaired ECF has been shown to result in a variety of negative consequences, including excessive drug and alcohol use. Subjects were 79 nonalcoholic male social drinkers between 17 to 30 years of age. ECF was measured using three neuropsychological tests: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the Conditional Associative Learning Test (CAT), and the Sequential Matching Memory Test (SMMT). Adverse drinking consequences were measured using the Drinker Inventory of Consequences (DrInC). The DrInC assesses drinking consequences in five domains: Physical, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Social Responsibility, and Impulse Control. Scores from the neuropsychological tests were reduced into two latent variables: one representing the WCST and the other representing the CAT and SMMT. The results indicated that errors on the CAT/SMMT variable were positively related to adverse consequences in each domain, except for physical consequences. A similar association was found between the WCST variable and impulse control consequences. These findings indicate that performance on tests measuring ECF is related to the severity of drinking consequences. Therefore, prevention and treatment outcomes may be improved by incorporating cognitive habilitation into current interventions.

Language: en


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