Neuropsychological study of northern Native male solvent abusers / by Cameron Dokis.
Dokis, Cameron Walter Joseph
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Solvent abuse constitutes a major health concern in all ethnic groups because of its serious social, medical, and neuropsychological consequences. The present study examined the neuropsychological consequences of long-term solvent use on young Aboriginal males in Northwestern Ontario. It was hypothesized that solvent abusers would score below controls in a variety of neuropsychological measures, with the largest deficits in working memory. The researcher recruited 10 solvent abusers, aged from 18-25. As a comparison control group, this study unsuccessfully attempted to recruit 20 age-and-ethnically matched Aboriginal males without a history of solvent use. The literature suggests that this effect may have been due to the application of a culturally insensitive research methodology with this particular population (Smith, 1999; Steinhauer, 2002). Due to lack of control data, experimental data were compared to normative data drawn from the literature. The study examined the areas of working memory, attention span, fine motor skills and executive functioning capabilities of solvent users. Covariates were measures of cognitive function, anxiety and depression. Covariates were not significantly correlated with test measures. Solvent abusers (N = 10) did not differ significantly from control data in measures of working memory, attention span, fine motor skills, or executive functioning capabilities. TONI-3 data correlated with sub-measures in the Connors Continuous Performance Test indicating a relationship with cognitive processing speed. Experimental TONI IQ did not differ significantly from Moland’s (2004) solvent abuse group TONI IQ, indicating a relationship between IQ and solvent use, however, the directionality or structure of this relationship is unknown.