To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Application of the Stressor Vulnerability Model to Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Alcohol-Related Problems in an Undergraduate

Research examining the comorbidity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol-use disorder (AUD) suggests that individuals experiencing PTSD symptoms (PTSS) often drink alcohol as a means to self-medicate their trauma symptoms; however, little attention has been given to moderating variables that may make this association more likely.

The stressor vulnerability model proposes that being male, relying on maladaptive forms of coping, and holding positive alcohol-outcome expectancies predispose individuals to engage in alcohol use when experiencing psychological distress.

In the current study, sex, avoidance coping (AVC), tension-reduction expectancies (TRE), and emotional-relief drinking-refusal self-efficacy (ERDRSE) were examined as moderators of the relationship between PTSS and alcohol-related problems in a sample of 144 undergraduates.

Results indicated that males reporting high levels of TRE exhibited a stronger positive relationship between PTSS and alcohol-related problems than was present for males reporting low levels of TRE and for females reporting either high or low levels of TRE.

In addition, a significant positive relationship between PTSS and alcohol-related problems was observed for individuals reporting high levels of TRE and low levels of ERDRSE, but not for individuals reporting high levels of TRE and high levels of ERDRSE,

Assessment of these vulnerability factors in traumatized youth and young adults may serve as a useful means of identifying individuals at risk for the development of alcohol-related problems.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: