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Title:Neuropsychological Impairment in Women Alcoholics
Author(s):Silberstein, Judith Ann
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:Two studies were conducted to investigate patterns of intact and impaired neuropsychological test performance in alcoholic women. On the basis of past research with alcoholic males, it was expected that abilities associated with right hemisphere functioning (nonverbal, abstract) would be affected by alcoholism while those skills associated with the left hemisphere (verbal) would not.
In Study 1, test scores of 25 alcoholic women (residents in alcoholismtreatment programs) were compared to those of 25 controls (moderatesocial drinkers). The groups were equated on age (X = 42), education(' )(X = 12), and verbal intelligence, and subjects were selected who were(' )in good health (no history of head injury, drug addiction, depression, etc.). Alcoholics were tested after a minimum of ten days of abstinence.
Testing consisted of a screening battery (medical and drinking surveys) and a neuropsychological test battery with three types of measures: Set 1, no group differences expected (WAIS Comprehension, Similarities, Digit Span, Picture Completion, Tactual Performance Test Memory); Set 2, possible group differences (Bender-Gestalt standard and Canter Interference procedures, Memory-for-Designs); and Set 3, alcoholics expected to score worse than controls (Shipley Abstract and CQ, WAIS Digit Symbol and Block Design; Halstead Category, TPT Time and Location; Trail-Making A and B, Raven's I and II).
Test results were as expected overall--a significant Hotelling's T('2) for Set 2 and 3, but not Set 1. The Tactual Performance Test, Raven's I and Category Test did not differentiate alcoholics from controls, but all other Set 2 and 3 measures did.
In Study 2, another group of 25 alcoholics and 25 controls was tested using the same procedures, however a nonverbal version of the Tactual Performance Test was used to minimize the verbal (left-hemisphere) aspects and thus enhance its sensitivity to alcoholism effects. Also added was the Stark Verbal (Set 1) and Nonverbal (Set 3) memory task which have been used to compare right and left-hemisphere damaged patients.
Results of Study 2 were similar to Study 1: no group differences in Set 1, alcoholics worse than control on Set 3. When Set 2 tests for Study 1 were rescored consistent with scoring criteria employed in the later work, no group differences were found in either study. Alcoholics scored significantly worse than controls on the nonverbal (but not the standard, Study 1) Tactual Performance Test. Neither the verbal nor the nonverbal Stark measures discriminated alcoholics from controls.
Results of the two studies showed: alcoholic women do evidence neuropsychological impairments; the pattern of deficit and performance is similar to that seen in alcoholic males; the pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that alcoholism damages abilities associated with the right hemisphere, although not all test results supported this theory.
Issue Date:1981
Description:175 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8114482
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-13
Date Deposited:1981

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