Title

Daily relationship between positive affect and drinking to cope: the moderating role of difficulties regulating positive emotions

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

3-4-2019

Abstract

Background: Alcohol use is highly prevalent and linked to a wide range of negative outcomes among college students. Although emotion dysregulation has been theoretically and empirically linked to alcohol use, few studies have examined emotion dysregulation stemming from positive emotions. Objective: The goal of the current study was to extend extant research by using daily diary methods to examine the potentially moderating role of difficulties regulating positive emotions in the daily relation between positive affect and alcohol use to cope with social and non-social stressors. Methods: Participants were 165 college students (M age = 20.04; 55.2% male) who completed a baseline questionnaire assessing difficulties regulating positive emotions. Participants then responded to questions regarding state positive emotions and alcohol use once a day for 14 days. Results: Difficulties regulating positive emotions moderated the daily relation between positive affect stemming from social stressors and alcohol use to cope with social stressors. Positive affect stemming from social stressors predicted alcohol use to cope with social stressors with high (but not low) levels of difficulties regulating positive emotions. Conclusions: Findings underscore the potential utility of targeting difficulties regulating positive emotions in treatments aimed at reducing alcohol use to cope with social stressors among college students.

Publication Title

American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Volume

45

Issue

2

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