Implicit Cognition and Dissocative Experiences as Predictors of Adolescent Substance Use

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Cognition and Perception | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Substance Abuse and Addiction


The present study evaluated the mediating role of implicit cognitive processes in the prediction of alcohol and marijuana use and examined the relationships between dissociative experiences, implicit processes, and sensation seeking in models of drug use and problem experiences. Participants were 467 diverse at-risk adolescents in California. Results from latent variable models revealed that implicit cognition independently predicted alcohol and marijuana use and mediated the predictive effects of sensation seeking on drug use. Dissociative experiences did not predict implicit cognition or drug use in this sample, though this factor was a significant predictor of problem experiences and was positively correlated with sensation seeking. This research provides further evidence suggesting that implicit, associative memory processes are influential in drug-use motivation.

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