Date of this Version
Psychol Addict Behav. 2015 December ; 29(4): 875–884.
Difficulty controlling impulsive behaviors when experiencing negative emotions is a prominent risk factor for hazardous alcohol use, and prior research suggests that drinking to cope may mediate this association. The present study examines this possibility prospectively in a sample of 490 young adult women between the ages of 18 and 25. Participants completed measures of emotion-driven impulse control difficulties, drinking to cope, and hazardous alcohol use at six time points over the course of approximately 20 months (i.e., one assessment every four months). Multilevel structural equation modeling revealed that drinking to cope fully mediated the relationship between emotion-driven impulse control difficulties and hazardous alcohol use when examining these relationships between individuals and partially mediated this relation when examining these relationships within individuals. These findings suggest that drinking to cope is a key mechanism in the relationship between emotion-driven impulse control difficulties and hazardous drinking. Results highlight the importance of targeting both emotion dysregulation and drinking to cope when treating young women for alcohol use problems.