Date of Award

Spring 6-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor or Mentor

Casey LaDuke

Second Reader

Peggilee Wupperman

Third Advisor

William H. Gottdiener


Objective: There is an urgent need to reduce overpopulation in U.S. prisons, which are inundated with individuals needing substance use treatment. Research on both substance use and antisocial behaviors highlight maladaptive beliefs and behaviors, while also implicating disinhibition as an important factor. Disinhibition is a dynamic trait that can be targeted with therapeutic interventions. The current study explored the relationships between neurocognitive disinhibition, substance use, and recidivism among incarcerated men. The study hypothesized that disinhibition would be associated with history of substance use, history of antisocial behavior, and institutional misconduct, as well as predicting recidivism over and above history of substance use. Method: This study analyzed an archival dataset of demographic, clinical, and neuropsychological measures among a sample of incarcerated men (N = 95). Results: Descriptive analyses showed meaningful relationships among history of substance use, history of antisocial behavior, institutional misconduct, disinhibition, and recidivism outcomes. Disinhibition was meaningfully associated with history of substance use (ß = 0.33, t = 3.07, p = .003, adjusted R2 = .09), history of antisocial behavior (ß = .25, t = 2.19, p = .032, adjusted R2 = .18), and institutional misconduct (ß = .270, t = 2.04, p = .047, adjusted R2 = .30), but not recidivism outcome (df = 1, Х2 = 0.73, p = .393). Conclusion: Limitations with statistical analyses may have contributed to a lack of support for neuroprediction of recidivism. Nonetheless, neurocognitive disinhibition may be a worthwhile construct in further research on biopsychosocial treatment of incarcerated or substance use populations.



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