An examination of information-processing skills among inhalant-using adolescents

K. D. Scott, A. A. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background This study investigates the association between inhalant use and information processing (IP) in adjudicated polysubstance users. Polysubstance users who used inhalants (n= 158) were compared with polysubstance users who did not use inhalants (n= 303). Hispanic Americans comprised 72% of the participants; European Americans, African Americans and Asian Americans comprised 28% of the participants. Method Standardized intelligence and achievement tests were used to assess information-processing constructs of working memory and processing speed. Psychosocial and substance abuse standardized surveys were used to assess drug use severity and psychosocial problems associated with substance use. Results Polysubstance users who used inhalants (PSI users) were younger, used more drugs more frequently and had more psychiatric admissions than non-inhalant polysubstance users (PSO users). Statistical analysis also shows that PSI users performed worse on measures of IP selected tests in comparison with the PSO users. Conclusion Inhalant users begin abusing substances at a younger age and suffer from more verbal and non-verbal processing, behavioural, language and memory problems than non-inhalant users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-419
Number of pages8
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Adolescent inhalant use
  • Information processing and working memoryof inhalant users
  • Neuropsychology
  • Polysubstance use in combination with inhalants
  • Volatile organic solvent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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