Research has indicated that alcohol abuse is associated with deleterious effects on cognitive functioning later in life, specifically in the neuropsychological domains of immediate memory, delayed memory, and attention. However, research has been mixed regarding how age of initiation into problem drinking affects cognitive health after abstinence. This study aimed to identify if earlier age of alcohol abuse was associated with significant deficits in neuropsychological functioning in comparison to individuals who commenced alcohol abuse later in life. Participants were recruited from an alcohol rehabilitation program within Loma Linda University’s Behavioral Medicine Center and were administered the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) after eight days of substance sobriety. Results indicated that individuals who drank more and began drinking in childhood demonstrated significantly better performance in immediate memory in comparison to individuals who drank less and who initiated into drinking later in life. However, these findings are reflective of pervasive limitations within this study, including low power, low sample size, and operational complexities within the studies primary independent variables.
School of Behavioral Health
Lee, Grace J.
Morton, Kelly R.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Alcohol Use; Alcoholism; Memory -- Physiology; Neuropsychological Tests
Subject - Local
Age of Initiation; Alcohol Abuse; Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status; RBANS
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Goldberg, Joshua Seth, "Age of Drinking Initiation’s Association with Cognitive Functioning" (2017). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 448.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives