Effect of a change in drinking pattern on the cognitive function of female social drinkers

K. B. Carey, S. A. Maisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The relationship between social drinking patterns and sober cognitive performance was evaluated, and the effects of a change in alcohol consumption on cognitive function were measured. Sixty female drinkers were randomly assigned either to abstain for 3 weeks or to continue to drink as usual; 25 female abstainers served as a comparison group. Subjects' drinking patterns during the last 6 months were assessed, and a battery of cognitive tests was administered both before and after the 3-week interval. Results indicated that cognitive performance at baseline was not inversely correlated with either the quantity or the frequency of drinking over the last 6 months. Furthermore, the abstinence manipulation did not result in differential improvement on any of the tests between the subjects who abstained and the subjects who continued to drink. Thus, recent drinking practices were not related to cognitive test performance in this sample of female social drinkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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