Journal Article


Hugh Garavan
Philip Murphy



alcohol drinking adult humans cognition predictive value of tests universities alcoholism adolescent female psychology photic stimulation diagnosis male psychological tests young adult epidemiology psychomotor performance

Cognitive predictors of problem drinking and AUDIT scores among college students. (2010)

Abstract Evidence from a number of substance abuse populations suggests that substance abuse is associated with a cluster of differences in cognitive processes. However, investigations of this kind in non-clinical samples are relatively few. The present study examined the ability of alcohol-attentional bias (an alcohol Stroop task), impulsive decision-making (a delay discounting task), and impaired inhibitory control (a GO-NOGO task) to: (a) discriminate problem from non-problem drinkers among a sample of college students; (b) predict scores on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT; a measure of alcohol consumption, drinking behaviour, and alcohol-related problems) across all of the student drinkers; (c) predict AUDIT scores within the subgroups of problem and non-problem student drinkers. In logistic regression controlling for gender and age, student drinkers with elevated alcohol-attentional bias and impulsive decision-making were over twice as likely to be a problem than a non-problem drinker. Multiple regression analysis of the entire sample revealed that all three cognitive measures were significant predictors of AUDIT scores after gender and age had been controlled; the cognitive variables together accounted for 48% of the variance. Moreover, subsequent multiple regressions revealed that impaired inhibitory control was the only significant predictor of AUDIT scores for the group of non-problem drinkers, and alcohol-attentional bias and impulsive decision-making were the only significant predictors of AUDIT scores for the group of problem drinkers. Finally, both impulsive decision-making and impaired inhibitory control were significantly correlated with alcohol-attentional bias across the whole sample. Implications are discussed relating to the development of problematic drinking.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Hugh Garavan, Philip Murphy

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Hugh Garavan
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 160