Childhood trauma, impulsivity, and executive functioning in crack cocaine users Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: The use of crack cocaine is a major public health concern in Brazil and internationally. Recent data suggest that childhood trauma is associated with worse outcomes among cocaine users. This study had the objective of evaluating the relationship of childhood trauma with executive functioning and impulsivity in outpatients with crack cocaine use disorders. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of 84 consecutive outpatients with a primary crack cocaine use disorder who sought treatment in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Childhood trauma was evaluated with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire; executive functioning, with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; and impulsivity, with the Barratt Impulsivity Scale. RESULTS: Childhood trauma was strongly associated with executive dysfunction and impulsivity, even when controlled for possible confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood trauma may be associated with executive dysfunction and impulsivity in crack cocaine users. The full impact of trauma needs to be further investigated in longitudinal studies.


  • Narvaez, Joana CM
  • Magalhães, Pedro VS
  • Trindade, Elise K
  • Vieira, Daniel Chaves
  • Kauer-Sant'Anna, Márcia
  • Gama, Clarissa S
  • von Diemen, Lisia
  • Kapczinski, Natália S
  • Kapczinski, Flavio

publication date

  • April 2012