Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-12-2017


Objective: Sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) may influence alcohol consumption. The current study investigated the impact of self-reported mTBIs on alcohol use in a sample of individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) or a history of seeking treatment.

Participants and Methods: 173 individuals recruited for a neuroimaging/genetic study of alcohol abuse completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) to assess consequences of consumption, and the Time Line Follow-back to assess average drinks per drinking day (DPDD). The Rivermead Concussion Scale was completed for each injury reported. The effects of the number of mTBIs (0,1, more than one) were assessed. A more detailed analysis of the effects of mTBI including information on injury recency and severity, was performed for the most recent injury reported.

Results: 60.7% of individuals reported a history of at least one mTBI and some had up to four prior injuries. The number of reported mTBIs did not affect AUDIT scores (p = .410) or TLFB-DPDD (p = .172). For the most recent injury, a significant interaction effect for remoteness by severity was found for TLFB-DPDD (p =.010) but not for AUDIT (p =.270).

Conclusions: Individuals with more recent and more severe mTBIs, were found to consume more drinks per drinking day than individuals with more remote and less severe mTBIs. In contrast, it was found that injury severity and injury remoteness were not linked to harmful or hazardous drinking as measured by the AUDIT.

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Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Ronald Yeo, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Katie Witkiewitz, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Eric Claus, Ph.D.

Fourth Committee Member

Andrew Mayer, Ph.D.




Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Injury, Alcohol Use Disorder

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Psychology Commons