Chronic alcohol use has been linked to various physical health concerns, neurological changes, and cognitive deficits. Research has shown that some of these neurologic and cognitive deficits can improve over time following detoxification and abstinence; however, the exact nature or timeline of this recovery process has not been established. The aim of the current study is to identify cognitive deficits and changes present in the alcohol addiction treatment population, the influence of cognitive deficits on treatment completion, and the effect of previous engagement in treatment (which is indicative of previous relapse) on cognitive functioning at both treatment onset and treatment completion. Results suggest that individuals within an intensive outpatient AUD program experienced improvements in language and overall cognitive functioning. Additional variables approaching significance include the subtests of story learning, figure copy, semantic fluency, digit span, coding, and the overall attention index, all of which exhibited small to medium effect sizes. In contrast, impairments in cognitive functioning were not related to treatment drop-out. Finally, previous treatment engagement was not suggestive of worse cognitive functioning. Despite reduced sample size, these results provide some insight into the variability in cognitive functioning within AUD, suggesting that providers may need to consider tailoring treatment for those who present with various cognitive impairments. Programs that account for memory, executive functioning, and processing speed impairments may assist their patient’s in the retention of information presented during treatment, thus improving rehabilitation and increasing subsequent success in sobriety.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Lee, Grace J.

Second Advisor

Morrell, Holly E. R.

Third Advisor

Waleszonia, Suranee

Fourth Advisor

Whyte, Ricardo

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Alcoholism -- Therapy; Mental Processes; Cognition;

Subject - Local

Alcohol Abuse - Treatment; Executive Functioning; Cognitive Deficits; Cognitive Functioning;



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

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.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives