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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.
Royal-Smith, Gwendolyn F., "Gender Differences and Neurocognitive Function in Cocaine and Methamphetamine Addiction" (2020). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 8330.