Title: "The Role of Temptation and Self-Efficacy as Predictors of Relapse Severity Posttreatment." Presented at the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) annual meeting, San Diego, CA, June 2009.
Abstract: Relapse is a critical event for cessation of all addictive behaviors and an important element in the process of changing problematic alcohol consumption. Temptation to drink and self-efficacy to abstain have been identified as important predictors of alcohol relapse. Additionally, the relation between temptation and self-efficacy has emerged as a predictor of drinking outcomes (Project MATCH, 1997). Relapse vulnerability (RV) is a construct that was derived from measures of temptation and self-efficacy to reflect the extent of an individual’s temptation to drink overpowering self-efficacy to abstain. This study examined whether end-of-treatment RV predicted three dimensions of relapse severity: time to first drink, amount of drinks on first drinking day, and duration of drinking during the first week. Data analyzed were from Project MATCH, a multi-site treatment study designed to reduce alcohol consumption in alcohol dependent participants. Analyses were conducted on a subsample of participants who relapsed during posttreatment after a period of initial abstinence. Higher relapse vulnerability scores at end-of-treatment were significantly related to all three relapse severity dimensions and predicted less time to first drink, higher amount of drinking on first drinking day, and longer duration of drinking during the first week (all p’s <.05). Further analyses revealed that subscale scores of relapse vulnerability assessed at end-of-treatment differentially predicted relapse severity, with social/positive relapse vulnerability predicting time to first drink, negative affect relapse vulnerability predicting amount of drinks on first drinking day, and withdrawal/urges relapse vulnerability predicting duration of drinking during the first week (all p’s<.05). Results indicate that measurement of the discrepancy between temptation and self-efficacy across various types of situations can be useful in predicting not only a relapse event but also the intensity and extent of relapse severity.