Executive function, approach sensitivity, and emotional decision making as influences on risk behaviors in young adults

Megan E. Patrick, Clancy Blair, Jennifer L. Maggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Relations among executive function, behavioral approach sensitivity, emotional decision making, and risk behaviors (alcohol use, drug use, and delinquent behavior) were examined in single female college students (N = 72). Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated a significant Approach Sensitivity x Working Memory interaction in which higher levels of alcohol use were associated with the combination of greater approach tendency and better working memory. This Approach Sensitivity x Working Memory interaction was also marginally significant for drug use and delinquency. Poor emotional decision making, as measured by a gambling task, was also associated with higher levels of alcohol use, but only for individuals low in inhibitory control. Findings point to the complexity of relations among aspects of self-regulation and personality and provide much needed data on neuropsychological correlates of risk behaviors in a nonclinical population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-462
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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