Testing Theoretical Relationships among Alcohol Use, Drinking to Cope, Mood Regulation Expectancies, and Depression

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Virginia Tech


Participants (N = 164) completed measures of depression, negative mood regulation expectancies, coping motives for alcohol use, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems allowing for cross-sectional and prospective examinations of theoretically derived hypotheses regarding motivational models for alcohol use and related problems in a college population. Using hierarchical linear regression techniques, 3 hypotheses were examined. The hypothesis that lower levels of depression and higher levels of negative mood regulations expectancies would interact to predict drinking to cope was not supported. The hypothesis that drinking to cope would be predictive of alcohol-related problems even when alcohol consumption was controlled for was supported. The creation of two subscales intended to measure objective and subjective alcohol-related problems is explained. There was mixed support for the hypothesis that drinking to cope is more predictive of subjective alcohol-related problems compared to objective alcohol-related problems. Findings from the current study provide support for social learning theory and have implications for alcohol intervention programs on college campuses.



mood regulation, depression, coping, college, alcohol