Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type



Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Bryan


Alcohol use is a crucial public health issue that has serious consequences for individual cognitive function. Stress is often cited as a risk factor for heavy drinking. Exercise has been examined as a method of decreasing alcohol use, increasing cognitive function, and decreasing stress. In this study, it was expected that heavy drinkers would experience higher perceived stress and would score worse on measures of cognitive function than light drinkers. It was also expected that exercise status would moderate the relationship between drinking and negative consequences, such that heavy drinkers who exercise would not experience as many negative consequences of stress and cognition as would heavy drinkers who do not exercise. The sample consisted of 20 relatively inactive adults that were asked about exercise, stress and drinking. The results suggested that there were significant differences in the cognitive functions of drinkers.