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Psychol Addict Behav. 2009 Jun;23(2):226-37. doi: 10.1037/a0015006.

Coping-anxiety and coping-depression motives predict different daily mood-drinking relationships.

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Department of Psychology, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Individuals with different drinking motives show distinctive patterns of alcohol use and problems. Drinking to cope, or endorsing strong coping motives for alcohol use, has been shown to be particularly hazardous. It is important to determine the unique triggers associated with coping drinking. One limitation of past research has been the failure to contend with the complexities inherent in coping motives. Using the Modified Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised (Grant, Stewart, O'Connor, Blackwell, & Conrod, 2007), which separates coping-anxiety and coping-depression motives, we investigated whether these motives moderated relationships between daily mood and subsequent drinking (statistically controlling for sex, baseline anxious and depressive symptomatology, initial alcohol problems, and additional drinking motives). College students (N=146) provided daily reports of mood and alcohol consumption online for 3 weeks. Multilevel modeling analyses revealed that, as hypothesized, stronger initial coping-depression motives predicted higher daily depressed mood-alcohol consumption slopes. Also consistent with expectation, stronger initial coping-anxiety motives predicted higher anxious mood-alcohol consumption slopes. We discuss how this identification of the unique mood triggers associated with each type of coping drinking motive can provide the basis for targeted interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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