Assessment of cognitive functioning in poly‐substance abusers

J. A. Sweeney, L. Meisel, V. L. Walsh, D. Castrovinci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Neuropsychological deficits of memory and spatial perception have been associated with substance abuse. The present study assessed the degree to which verbal abstraction is impaired in substance abusers because this function typically is reduced in diffuse cerebral disorders. Test scores of 100 consecutively admitted substance‐abusing patients indicated that performance on the Similarities test of the WAIS was actually higher than Vocabulary scores. This finding was replicated with the WAIS‐R on a second sample of 100 patients who demonstrated impaired memory and psychomotor speed. These findings indicated that verbal abstraction was unimpaired in two large samples of poly‐substance abusers. Further, the superiority of Similarities over Vocabulary scores suggests that in poly‐substance abusers, Similarities scores may be a better index of premorbid intellectual competence than the more typically used Vocabulary scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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