Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Psychological Distress, Coping Deficits, and the Tendency to Drink Alcohol to Cope in a College Population

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Psychological Distress, Coping Deficits, and the Tendency to Drink Alcohol to Cope in a College Population

Article excerpt

Numerous researchers have identified the disposition to drink alcohol to cope with psychological distress as one of the most predictive elements of problematic patterns of alcohol use. Affect regulation and social learning models posit that psychological distress increases an individual's motivation to drink alcohol for relief, particularly among individuals who lack alternative coping strategies to deal with distress. Although prior research supports these theoretical contentions, evidence is mixed and the interaction between psychological distress and coping strategies in predicting individuals' motivation to drink alcohol is unclear. As such, the purpose of the current study was two-fold: (a) to examine the direct effects of multiple measures of psychological distress and coping strategies on the disposition to use alcohol to cope; and (b) to explore the interactive or moderating role of coping strategies between psychological distress and the use of alcohol to cope. Participants (N = 519) included introductory-level college students (women, n = 266; men, n = 253) that, according to empirical research, are believed to be particularly vulnerable to distress and alcohol misuse. A self-report, cross-sectional design was employed with participants completing previously validated measures of psychological distress (e. …

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