This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Do Symptoms of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Independently Predict Social Functioning or Risky Behavior in a College Student Sample?




Kirk , Claire

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation




As evidence for the discriminant validity of SCT continues to emerge, researchers must further examine the ways in which SCT affects functioning in order to eventually tailor treatments to this population. The current study examined whether SCT symptoms in college students are predictive of social functioning and risky behavior, particularly alcohol and cannabis use, risky sex, and unsafe driving, above and beyond those of commonly comorbid disorders, including symptoms of ADHD, depression, and anxiety. An online survey was administered to a sample of college students attending a Southeastern university. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were completed, in which, along with demographic variables, SCT and other symptoms of psychopathology (i.e., ADHD-Inattention, ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsive, anxiety, and depression) were entered as independent variables, predicting each measure of impairment (i.e., social functioning and risky behavior). Results indicated that, at a modest level, SCT independently predicted specific aspects of social impairment among college students, including the ability to initiate relationships, and the ability to assert influence over others (e.g., express displeasure toward others’ actions and say “no” when asked to do something that causes discomfort). Regression results also indicated that SCT did not independently predict risky behavior among college students, including substance use, risky sexual behavior, and risky driving. Overall, the current study adds to the existing and growing body of literature suggesting that symptoms of SCT are predictive of social functioning across development.