Does excessive alcohol use in teenagers affect their everyday prospective memory?

Tom Heffernan, Terence O'Neill, Jonathan Ling, Steve Holroyd, Janice Bartholomew, Gary Betney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate everyday memory processes in teenagers who drink excessive amounts of alcohol (drinking above the 14/21 units-per-week recommended for females/males respectively), compared with low-dose controls. To consider what implications putative deficits might have upon prevention and potential treatment issue relating to alcohol misuse in teenagers. Design: Existing groups. Setting: Testing took place in quiet rooms in colleges in North-East of England. Participants: 86 teenagers studying at colleges in the North-East of England were tested, 55 of whom were excessive drinkers and 31 drank below the 'safe limits'. Main Outcome Measures: Self-report measures; Prospective Memory Questionnaire and UEL Drug-Use Questionnaire. Results: After controlling for tobacco and strategy use (no other between-group differences were found on the non-memory measures), the excessive alcohol group reported more lapses in memory in their long-term and short-term everyday prospective memory functioning, than the low-dose control group. Conclusions: The findings suggest that teenagers who use excessive amounts of alcohol have selective deficits in their ability to engage in day-to-day activities that rely on memory. Identifying such deficits may help in prevention campaigns and the development of strategies to combat these difficulties may be a useful addition to the knowledge and skills in nurse training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e302-e307
JournalClinical Effectiveness in Nursing
Issue numberS3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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