Implicit Cognition in Adolescent Drug Use


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Abstract

Implicit cognitive responses to drug use cues and drugoutcomes, assessed with measures of memory association, were studiedin a sample of high-risk White and Latino adolescents. The utilityof these responses as predictors of drug use was examined andcompared with potentially confounding predictors, including gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and acculturation. The backgroundvariables also served as potential moderators of the effects ofimplicit cognition. The results revealed that measures of memoryassociation were consistent, direct-effect predictors of marijuanaand alcohol use. In addition, these implicit cognitive measures werestronger predictors than were the background variables, and theirpredictive effects were not moderated by other variables. Theresults provide further support for the implicit cognitionperspective in drug use.

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