UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Executive function and future orientation moderate the relationship among substance use associations and outcome expectancies with substance use in adolescents : a pilot study Barkowsky, Deborah Suzanne


The overall purpose of the present study was to investigate the moderating role of Executive Function and Future Orientation in the relationship between implicit associations/explicit outcome expectancies and substance use in grade 8 adolescent students. Participants from grade 8 (13-14 years old) completed cued association tasks that measure implicit substance use associations and explicit substance use outcome expectancies. They then completed substance use measures, as well as three measures of substance use problems: the CRAFFT, AUDIT, and CUDIT. In a separate session, participants completed the Substance Use Risk Profile Scales (SURPS), and the Executive Function measures of response inhibition (Go/No-Go Task), working memory (Self-OrderedPointing Task, SOPT), and reward sensitivity (Donkey Task, a revised version of the Iowa Gambling Task). Lastly, they completed the Future Orientation Questionnaire. Moderation analyses were conducted using Generalized Linear Regression (GLzM). Results confirmed previous research showing that associations and outcome expectancies, as well as Impulsivity, predict substance use and abuse. The findings suggested moderation effects of response inhibition (Go/No-Go performance) and reward sensitivity (Donkey Task performance). Contrary to previous reports working memory (SOPT performance) did not moderate implicit memory association effects. In a novel demonstration, Future Orientation has moderating effect on associations and outcome expectancies with substance use in adolescents. Overall, the results suggest that the relationship between the development of executive functions and future orientation with associative learning is important in the development of adolescent substance use and abuse. The intention is that these findings will provide insights useful for the development of prevention programs.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada