Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Erica Holliday

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Substance Use Disorders, Cognitive Dysfunction, and Neurodivergence in Emerging Adulthood

Posada, D., Herbert, J., Weingast, L., Holliday, E.

Cognitive functioning in college students with substance use disorders (SUD) has been widely researched, however, discussions have largely concentrated on executive functions (EF) such as working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. Literature on the relationship between cognitive dysfunction and SUD has largely underreported the influence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADD/ADHD) and other neurodivergent characteristics. The current review explores the state of the literature on the relationship between neurodivergence, cognitive dysfunction, and SUD in emerging adulthood. More specifically, it speculates whether college students who are 18-25 years old with ADD/ADHD are at a higher risk of developing and maintaining an SUD. The field’s understanding of emerging adults is evolving due to technological advances in research and the increasing awareness of neurodiversity. The current review will focus on the age bracket of emerging adults due to the critical neurological development that occurs during this developmental window. Methodology includes systematically searching several databases to ensure that the widest scope of relevant literature on these topics is reviewed including PubMed, Google Scholar, and Psych INFO. Keywords include terms selected to capture the specificity and depth of the areas of interest. It is hypothesized that there are critical gaps in the understanding of cognitive dysfunction and SUD in college students with ADD/ADHD. However, there may be preliminary literature that suggests there is a relationship between these phenomena. The current review aims to inform future practice and research through presenting the state of the literature on emerging adulthood, neurodivergence, and SUD.

Key Words: Cognitive Dysfunction, College Students, Emerging Adulthood, Substance Use Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Executive Function

Disciplines

Biological Psychology | Clinical and Medical Social Work | Cognitive Science | Developmental Psychology | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Substance Use Disorders, Cognitive Dysfunction, and Neurodivergence in Emerging Adulthood

Substance Use Disorders, Cognitive Dysfunction, and Neurodivergence in Emerging Adulthood

Posada, D., Herbert, J., Weingast, L., Holliday, E.

Cognitive functioning in college students with substance use disorders (SUD) has been widely researched, however, discussions have largely concentrated on executive functions (EF) such as working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. Literature on the relationship between cognitive dysfunction and SUD has largely underreported the influence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADD/ADHD) and other neurodivergent characteristics. The current review explores the state of the literature on the relationship between neurodivergence, cognitive dysfunction, and SUD in emerging adulthood. More specifically, it speculates whether college students who are 18-25 years old with ADD/ADHD are at a higher risk of developing and maintaining an SUD. The field’s understanding of emerging adults is evolving due to technological advances in research and the increasing awareness of neurodiversity. The current review will focus on the age bracket of emerging adults due to the critical neurological development that occurs during this developmental window. Methodology includes systematically searching several databases to ensure that the widest scope of relevant literature on these topics is reviewed including PubMed, Google Scholar, and Psych INFO. Keywords include terms selected to capture the specificity and depth of the areas of interest. It is hypothesized that there are critical gaps in the understanding of cognitive dysfunction and SUD in college students with ADD/ADHD. However, there may be preliminary literature that suggests there is a relationship between these phenomena. The current review aims to inform future practice and research through presenting the state of the literature on emerging adulthood, neurodivergence, and SUD.

Key Words: Cognitive Dysfunction, College Students, Emerging Adulthood, Substance Use Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Executive Function

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