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Tuesday, April 24 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Relationship Between Cognitive Abilities And Drug Use

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The purpose of my research is to demonstrate the relationship between high childhood IQ scores and the use of drugs and alcohol later in life. Further, the factors that may contribute to this relationship and the degree to which these factors have an effect (i.e. childhood socioeconomic status, family mismanagement, parental substance use and association with substance using peers). This research reviews longitudinal studies beginning in adolescence and persisting through adulthood, with cognitive assessments taken during childhood and their relationship with the individual’s alcohol and drug dependency later in life. In order to compile and translate the researcher’s methodology, my research will analyze the use of various measures, including: lifetime cannabis and cocaine use, parental social class and psychological distress during adolescence; cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and polydrug use in the past 12 months; and social class, educational attainment and gross monthly income at 30 years. For example, one study found that IQ scores at 5 years old were positively associated with cannabis and cocaine use in women and also positively associated with amphetamines, ecstasy, and poly-drug use in men during adulthood. A positive correlation was also found with IQ scores at 10 years and drug use during adulthood. Thus, I hypothesize that there will be a positive correlation between higher IQ score measurements in youth, adolescents, pre-teens and an increased association with and likelihood of drug use in teen and young adulthood. In addition, I hypothesize these associations will be found to be stronger in women than in men. However, my research remain independent from any pre-existing conditions, such as psychological distress in adolescence and life-course socioeconomic position. In conclusion, high childhood cognitive abilities may increase the chance that an individual will use illegal drugs in adolescence and adulthood.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm PDT
012 Karpen Hall

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