Individual Differences in Latent Neuropsychological Abilities at Addictions Treatment Entry

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The latent structure of neuropsychological abilities and risk factors for impairment were examined in 197 persons entering addictions treatment. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded 4 factors: Executive, Memory, Verbal, and Processing Speed. The measurement model was consistent with evidence that neuropsychological test performance is factorially complex and supported by multiple brain regions. Path analyses showed that risk factors explained 34%–57% of the true variance in abilities. Age, education, and medical status had the most generalized and robust associations with abilities. Drug use disorder diagnoses, childhood behavior problems, familial alcoholism, and psychopathology were also significantly related to specific latent abilities. Knowledge of neuropsychological impairment may be clinically useful, and selected risk factors may help treatment providers decide which clients should receive formal neuropsychological assessment.

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