Predictors of drinking and alcohol-related problems in
college women: Affect dysregulation and alcohol expectancies
by Garay, Miranda M., University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2008
The current study investigated the influences of positive alcohol expectancies, affect dysregulation, and trait affect on drinking intensity and alcohol-related problems in college women. This study presumed that the predictors for drinking intensity and alcohol-related problems would be similar, and that positive alcohol expectancies would moderate the relationship between affect dysregulation and drinking intensity and between affect dysregulation and alcohol-related problems. Participants were 150 college women (18-24 years old, 48.7% Caucasian). Self-report questionnaires and a verbal discussion regarding drinking patterns in the past 90 days were completed.
Positive alcohol outcome expectancies, affect dysregulation, and trait positive and negative affect were used to predict alcohol consumption (i.e., drinks per drinking day) and alcohol-related problems. Correlational and regression analyses indicated that for these women, only positive expectations accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in drinking intensity (*p*<.001).
The findings were different for predicting problems related to drinking. Both positive alcohol expectancies and affect dysregulation accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in alcohol-related problems, (*p*<.001). Additionally, positive expectations moderated the relationship between affect dysregulation and alcohol consequences. The effect of affect dysregulation on the accumulation of consequences was not consistent across levels of positive expectations. Specifically, as positive expectations increased, the influence of affect dysregulation on alcohol-related problems became more pronounced.
These findings support the notion that alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems are likely distinct constructs with unique predictors. Implications include the need for college drinking programs to address affect dysregulation and positive alcohol expectancies in order to reduce alcohol-related problems in college women drinkers.