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J Stud Alcohol. 2000 Nov;61(6):862-71.

Does affect mediate the association between daily events and alcohol use?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030, USA.



We examined the within-person associations among positive and negative daily events, positive and negative affect, desire to drink, and alcohol consumption in a sample of heavy drinkers.


Forty-six subjects (25 men; mean [SD] age = 47.0 [9.3] years) who were enrolled in an 8-week treatment program for heavy drinkers were studied using a daily diary methodology.


Multilevel regression analyses indicated that individuals reported stronger desire to drink and greater consumption on days in which more positive and negative nonwork events occurred. Lower levels of desire to drink and number of drinks were reported on days with more positive work events. Negative work events had a marginal positive association with daily desire to drink. Daily positive and negative affect uniquely predicted greater daily consumption and desire to drink, but only weak evidence was found for their mediating role in the association between daily events and the criterion variables. Several of the within-person associations among affect and the criterion variables varied as a function of number of lifetime symptoms of alcohol dependence and treatment condition.


These findings generally support the dual-process (i.e., tension-reduction and experience-enhancement) motivational model of alcohol consumption. However, the observed associations among events, affect and alcohol-related behavior suggests that these pathways are complex, with each being comprised of affective and cognitive subpathways.

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