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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2018 Dec 17. doi: 10.1037/pha0000242. [Epub ahead of print]

Factors linking suicidal ideation with drinking to cope and alcohol problems in emerging adult college drinkers.

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1
University of Alaska Anchorage.

Abstract

There is a well-established association between suicidal behavior and alcohol misuse. However, few studies have applied relevant theory and research findings in the areas of both alcohol and suicidal behavior to aid in the understanding of why these may be linked. The current study examined whether three variables (problem-solving skills, avoidant coping, and negative urgency) suggested by theory and previous findings in both areas of study help to account for the previously found association of suicidal ideation with drinking to cope and alcohol problems. Participants were 381 college women (60.4%) and men (39.6%) between the ages of 18 and 25 who were current drinkers and had a history of (at a minimum) passive suicidal ideation. Structural equation modeling was used to examine hypothesized associations among problem-solving skills, avoidant coping, drinking to cope (DTC), impulsivity in response to negative affect (i.e., negative urgency), severity of suicidal ideation, heavy alcohol use, and alcohol problems. Model results revealed that problem-solving skills deficits, avoidant coping, and negative urgency were each directly or indirectly associated with greater severity of suicidal ideation, DTC, heavy alcohol use, and alcohol problems. The results suggest that the positive association between suicidal ideation and DTC found in this and other studies may be accounted for by shared associations of these variables with problem-solving skills deficits, avoidant coping, and negative urgency. Increasing at-risk students' use of problem-solving skills may aid in reducing avoidance and negative urgency, which in turn may aid in reducing suicidal ideation, DTC, and alcohol misuse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:
30556729
DOI:
10.1037/pha0000242

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