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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Gender Differences in Relationships Among PTSD Severity, Drinking Motives, and Alcohol Use in a Comorbid Alcohol Dependence and PTSD Sample.

Alcohol dependence (AD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly prevalent and comorbid conditions associated with a significant level of impairment. Little systematic study has focused on gender differences specific to individuals with both AD and PTSD.

The current study examined gender-specific associations between PTSD symptom severity, drinking to cope (i.e., reduce negative affect), drinking for enhancement (i.e., increase positive affect), and average alcohol use in a clinical sample of men (n = 46) and women (n = 46) with comorbid AD and PTSD.

Results indicated that PTSD symptoms were highly associated with drinking-to-cope motives for both men and women, but with greater drinking for enhancement motives for men only. Enhancement motives were positively associated with average alcohol quantity for both men and women, but coping motives were significantly associated with average alcohol quantity for women only.

These findings suggest that for individuals with comorbid AD and PTSD, interventions that focus on reducing PTSD symptoms are likely to lower coping motives for both genders, and targeting coping motives is likely to result in decreased drinking for women but not for men, whereas targeting enhancement motives is likely to lead to reduced drinking for both genders.

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