Title

Difficulties regulating positive emotions and alcohol and drug misuse: A path analysis

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

9-1-2018

Abstract

Introduction: Alcohol and drugs are widely used among college students. Emotion dysregulation has been identified as a key mechanism in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of alcohol and drug misuse. Yet, research in this area has been limited by its narrow focus on dysregulation stemming from negative emotions. The goal of the current study was to extend past research by examining the relation of difficulties regulating positive emotions to alcohol and drug misuse. Methods: Participants were 311 college students (Mage = 19.24; 66.1% female; 66.0% White) who completed measures assessing difficulties regulating positive emotions and alcohol and drug misuse. Results: Structural equational modeling was used to model the relation between difficulties regulating positive emotions and alcohol and drug misuse. In a hypothesized structural model, higher levels of difficulties regulating positive emotions were found to relate to greater alcohol and drug misuse. Moreover, an alternative model provided support for an association of greater drug (but not alcohol) misuse to higher levels of difficulties regulating positive emotions. Conclusions: If replicated, findings may suggest the utility of targeting difficulties regulating positive emotions in treatments aimed at reducing alcohol and drug misuse among college students.

Publication Title

Addictive Behaviors

Volume

84

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