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Addict Behav. 1998 Jan-Feb;23(1):41-6.

A prospective evaluation of the relationship between reasons for drinking and DSM-IV alcohol-use disorders.

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  • 1Columbia University School of Public Health, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Previous research has demonstrated an association between self-reported reasons for drinking and alcohol consumption. The most consistent relationships have been demonstrated between alcohol consumption and drinking for positive affect enhancement and coping with negative affect. However, most of the results have been from cross-sectional research designs that have not controlled for diagnostic status. The present study was a prospective investigation of the relationship between reasons for drinking and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.), diagnoses of alcohol abuse and dependence. Subjects consisted of 508 community residents (264 male and 244 female) who did not meet DSM-IV criteria for an alcohol-use disorder at a baseline interview, who completed a completely structured interview (AUDADIS) and a self-report assessment battery, and who were re-interviewed approximately 1 year later. Results indicated a significant relationship between baseline reasons for drinking and follow-up diagnostic classification. Drinking to reduce negative affect predicted having a DSM-IV alcohol dependence diagnosis at follow-up, but not a diagnosis of alcohol abuse. No significant association was demonstrated between the baseline motive of drinking for positive affect enhancement and a follow-up DSM-IV alcohol-use disorder.

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