The effects of substance use and physical activity on prospective memory in young adults

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Samuel W. Kibildis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Etnier

Abstract: Health behaviors including alcohol use, smoking, and physical activity (PA) are known to impact the progression of dementia and modifying these risk factors at a younger age may help to delay or prevent the onset of cognitive impairment. Prospective memory (PM) is an understudied aspect of cognition that heavily influences a person’s day-to-day life. Alcohol use and smoking have both been demonstrated to negatively impact a person’s PM ability; meanwhile, there is reason to believe that PA could help to enhance PM ability through shared pathways. In the present study, the interaction between these health behaviors and self-reported PM ability is explored in a cross-sectional survey of young adults. An online survey asking about substance use behaviors, PA behaviors, and PM ability was completed by 96 individuals in an undergraduate Kinesiology course. Analyses of variance and multiple regression were used to analyze the impact of these health behaviors on PM ability and their interactions with one another. No significant differences in PM ability were observed between heavy, low, and nonsubstance users nor between high, moderate, and low active young adults. The interaction of binge drinking with PA was able to explain some variance in PM scores such that non-binge drinkers had stronger PM ability and binge drinkers had weaker PM ability with increasing levels of PA. The present study provides evidence that the relationship between PA and PM ability in young adults may be moderated by binge drinking behaviors.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Alcohol, Exercise, Memory, Physical activity, Smoking, Substance use
Young adults $x Substance use
Prospective memory

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