Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Jazzmyne Jefferson - Virginia State University
Co-Author(s): Montel Williams
The purpose of the present study was to examine the ability of neurocognitive functioning to predict depressive symptoms. It was hypothesized that neurocognitive functioning would significantly predict depressive symptoms. Specifically, cognitive functioning would be negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Ninety-eight African American college students (21 men, 77 women) between the ages of 18 – 30 participated in the study. Neurocognitive functioning was defined as visual attention, executive functioning, processing speed, and working memory. Neurocognitive functioning was measured with the Trail Making Test (Corrigan & Hinkeldey, 1987), a neuropsychological test of processing speed, visual attention and working memory, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (Smith, 1982),which assesses key neurocognitive functions including visual attention, executive functioning, processing speed and working memory, and the Neurological Assessment Battery Digits Forward / Backwards Digits test (Stern & White, 2001) which measures working memory. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to measure depressive symptoms. A Multiple Regression Analysis revealed that neurocognitive functioning significantly predicted depressive symptoms. In contrast to the hypothesis, there was a positive association between depressive symptoms and working memory. This finding indicates that the more depressive symptoms one has – the better their working memory. The results may be attributed to the age of the participants particular since young adults have effective working memories, regardless of mood state. Future research should examine the effects of neurocognitive functioning on participants of varying ages. References: Corrigan, J.D. & Hinkeldey, N.S. (1987). Relationships between parts A and B of the Trail Making Test, Journal of Clinical Psychology,43(4):402-409. Smith, A. (1982). Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). Manual (Revised). Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services. Stern, R. A., & White, T. 2001. Neuropsychological Assessment Battery® PAR. Florida Stern, R. A., & White, T. 2001. Neuropsychological Assessment Battery? PAR. Florida
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported, in part, by a grant from NSF/LSAMP awarded to A. Ansari, Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Vernessa R. Clark, email@example.com
Role: I recruited participants, collected data and analyzed the data.