Implicit Cognition in the Prediction of Substance Use Among Drug Offenders

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This research evaluated the utility of motivationally relevant implicit memory measures in predicting marijuana and alcohol use in a sample of culturally diverse drug offenders. In addition, the authors examined whether cultural variables interacted with these predictive effects. Implicit memory was assessed with measures of word association (cue-behavior and outcome-behavior association) that implicitly activates drug-related memory associations to drug cues. Results indicate that the implicit memory measures used in this research were significant predictors of alcohol and marijuana use. Acculturation, ethnicity, and gender did not modify the relationships between implicit memory and substance use. The results are consistent with psychopharmacological theories contending that (a) repeated experience with drugs influences motivationally relevant associations in memory and (b) these associations perpetuate drug use.

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