Cognitive, Affective, and Marital Functioning of Recovering Male Polysubstance Abusers

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Abstract

Research examining aspects of alcoholism and drug abuse has developed our knowledge of the components of addiction, especially alcoholism, within the fields of neuropsychology, affective disorders research, and marital and family research. The present study examined the relationships between these domains for 31 married couples in which the husband was a recovering polysubstance abuser. The cognitive functioning of the husband, rather than his affective functioning, was significantly related to videotaped observations of the couple's interaction. Post hoc analyses suggest a general pattern of more frequent negative communication behaviors and fewer positive behaviors associated with husbands' lower scores on the neuropsychological measures. In addition, increased levels of reported violence during conflicts experienced by the couple over the previous year were significantly related to husbands' impoverished neuropsychological test performance. Major limitations and the theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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