Send to

Choose Destination
Addict Behav. 2017 Jan;64:129-136. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.08.028. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Effects of depressive symptoms and coping motives on naturalistic trends in negative and positive alcohol-related consequences.

Author information

Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, United States. Electronic address:
Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, United States.



Depressive symptoms and drinking to cope with negative affect increase the likelihood for drinking-related negative consequences among college students. However, less is known about their influence on the naturalistic trajectories of alcohol-related consequences. In the current study, we examined how positive and negative drinking-related consequences changed as a function of depressive symptoms and drinking motives (coping, conformity, social, enhancement).


Participants (N=652; 58% female) were college student drinkers assessed biweekly during the first two years of college. We used hierarchical linear modeling to examine means of and linear change in positive and negative consequences related to depression and motives, controlling for level of drinking.


Consistent with hypotheses, negative and positive consequences decreased over the course of freshman and sophomore years. Higher levels of depression were associated with a faster decline in negative consequences during freshman year. Coping motives predicted average levels of negative and positive consequences across all years, with the effects of coping motives on consequences most pronounced at low levels of depression during sophomore year.


These findings indicate that screening students for depression and drinking to cope, independent of alcohol consumption, may help identify students at risk for experiencing negative alcohol consequences and that these factors should be addressed in targeted alcohol interventions.


Alcohol consequences; College students; Coping motives; Depressive symptoms; Longitudinal

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center