Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wallace, Douglas G.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Previous research has supported an association between binge drinking patterns of alcohol consumption in adolescence and hippocampal function (Parada et al., 2011). Other research has shown that the level of cohesion in one’s writing can be used as an early indicator of pathology associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type (Snowden, 1996). As of yet, no research has examined the association between self-reports of alcohol use in adolescents and level of density in writing samples as measured by cohesiveness. Based on student’s self-reports of alcohol use in the AUDIT (Adolescent Use Disorders Identification Test), they were contacted for to participate in this study. At the start of experiment, the participant was given the Montreal Cognitive Assessment to measure cognitive ability. Following a spatial awareness task, students were asked to complete two writing samples which were primed to elicit changes in cohesion from one to the next. This study and its data analyses are ongoing; however, the results are consistent with group differences in measures of Deep Cohesion between writing prompts. This is one of the first studies assessing the association between adolescent self-reported alcohol use and discourse cohesiveness. This study has been conducted to create a foundation for further research on early detection of pathology associated with episodic memory and neurodegenerative disorders.

Lost in language Structure.docx (157 kB)
Lost in language Structure.docx


15 pages




Northern Illinois University

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