Date of Conferral

2020

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Stephen Rice

Abstract

Abstract

Cocaine and methamphetamine-addicted women are more likely to suffer from personal life

traumas that lead to persistent and committed drug abuse. In addition to social-psychological

problems associated with drug abuse are neuropsychological processes involving specific regions

of the brain responsible for working memory, decision-making, and impulse control. Classical

and operant conditioning theories of learning provide a paradigm foundation for this quantitative,

correlational study that utilized archival data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

I analyzed a randomly selected sample of 186 adults who voluntarily participated in an eight

week treatment program for cocaine and methamphetamine (MA) addiction. In my study, I

found that the level of participation in the eight-week treatment program was statistically

significant for women when compared to the level of participation for men; however, the level of

participation did not vary significantly by age, race/ethnicity or the Stroop Word Color Task

score (SWCT). I also concluded that to a statistically significant degree, women experienced

more of a participation drop-off than did men as the treatment program progressed; however,

participants’ attrition did not vary significantly by age, race/ethnicity or SWCT score. Studies

detailing neuropsychological experiences in relationship to executive function in cocaine and

MA-addicted women are not plentiful and have not reached maximum significance in current

research. It is expected that this study will add to existing drug addiction studies and provoke

greater interest in neuropsychological experiences of women in all phases of addiction.

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Psychology Commons

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