Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Elizabeth M. Lane, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Eric Rosen, Ph.D.


The present study aimed to determine the effects of alcohol abuse and dependence in long term functioning of older adults who have experienced a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. The research question being answered in the current study was if a history of alcohol abuse or dependence would worsen neuropsychological functioning in older adults who experienced at least one moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Participants of the study were selected from the more extensive database provided by the Brain Aging in Vietnam War Veterans (DOD-ADNI) database. All participants were Vietnam War veterans between the ages of 61 and 85. The participants were grouped according to presence of a traumatic brain injury and history of alcohol use or dependence. All participants had at least five years of abstinence from alcohol. Neuropsychological tests measured differences between groups in the domains of verbal fluency, confrontation naming, verbal memory, executive functioning, and mood. Results of the current study showed there was no difference in neuropsychological functioning between individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury and individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury and alcohol abuse or dependence. The results of the current study indicate that in a population of older adults with a history of traumatic brain injury, neuropsychological functioning deficits are no greater if the individual also has a history of alcohol use.