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(Reference retrieved automatically from SciELO through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Executive dysfunction and low academic attainment in adolescent substance abusers with a history of maltreatment

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Author(s):
Paulo Jannuzzi Cunha ; Paula Approbato de Oliveira [2] ; Mariana Cortezzi [3] ; Geraldo F. Busatto ; Sandra Scivoletto [5]
Total Authors: 5
Document type: Journal article
Source: MedicalExpress (São Paulo, online); v. 2, n. 6 2015-12-00.
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Substance abuse and maltreatment are highly associated with Executive Cognitive Function impairments, but very little is known about how symptoms of a condition known as Dysexecutive Syndrome may impact on real-life activities, especially in adolescents. This study investigated the presence of Executive Cognitive Function deficits in maltreated substance-abusing adolescents relative to healthy control subjects and analyzed the association between executive performance and educational attainment. METHOD: The sample consisted of 15 maltreated adolescent substance abusers and 15 non-maltreated healthy adolescents (controls). They were assessed by the Frontal Assessment Battery, composed of six subtests: Conceptualization, Mental flexibility, Motor programming, Sensitivity to interference, Inhibitory control, and Environmental autonomy. RESULTS: Maltreated adolescents did not differ from controls in sociodemographic variables such as age, ethnicity, and handedness. However, they performed significantly and importantly below controls in almost all domains of Executive Cognitive Function, including abstract abilities, cognitive flexibility, motor planning, and sensitivity to interference. Maltreated adolescents also completed fewer years of formal education vs. controls. The Frontal Assessment Battery total score correlated with educational attainment throughout the sample (r = 0.511; p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Substance-abusing adolescents with a history of maltreatment performed more poorly vs. controls on a variety of measurements of executive functioning, and the results of the Frontal Assessment Battery were associated with educational attainment. Our results evidence a negative impact of dysexecutive symptoms on educational attainment in adolescents. Strategies focusing on neuropsychological rehabilitation may be relevant to help substance-abusing and maltreated adolescents to perform better at school and perhaps in life. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/15604-0 - White matter integrity of the corpus callosum and neuropsychological performance in maltreated children and adolescents: a brain morphometric and diffusion tensor imaging study
Grantee:Paulo Jannuzzi Cunha
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
FAPESP's process: 10/15786-1 - White matter integrity of the corpus callosum and neuropsychological performance in maltreated children and adolescents: a brain morphometric and diffusion tensor imaging study
Grantee:Geraldo Busatto Filho
Support Opportunities: Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 10/18374-6 - Neuropsychological profile of adolescents exposed to situations of early emotional stress
Grantee:Sandra Scivoletto
Support Opportunities: Regular Research Grants