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"Have a drink, you'll feel better"; predictors of daily alcohol consumption among extraverts ; the mediational role of coping
McCabe, Cameron T
Roesch, Scott C.
Vaughn, Allison A.
Woodruff, Susan I.
Historically, college students have been shown to consume more alcohol relative to similar age groups who do not attend college. A recent estimate indicates that the average number of alcoholic drinks consumed per week by undergraduates is around five standard drinks. This predisposes undergraduate heavy drinkers to a myriad of negative outcomes including academic, social, physical, and psychological problems. Many studies have attempted to identify personality types which may be predisposed to subsequent alcohol use, however, others have largely abandoned this quest for an "alcoholic personality" and have adopted more complicated approaches by linking personality measures with intrinsic motivations to drink, and drinking as a response to stress (i.e., coping). To date, a vast majority of research in these domains have focused primarily on the personality dimension of neuroticism, while a paucity of literature exists measuring extraversion specifically, and literature that does exist has yielded varying results. The present thesis focused on how undergraduates, specifically extraverts, cope with stress on a daily level and how those coping strategies may leave them predisposed to subsequent alcohol use. Using a daily diary approach, this study tested the applicability of the differential coping choice model in a sample of undergraduate college students, with the goal of testing mediational pathways from extraversion and coping (problem-focused and social support) predicting alcohol consumption. Three hundred sixty six participants completed an Internet-based diary page once a day for five consecutive days and among other measures, reported their daily stress level, coping strategies utilized, and how much they drank. Results confirmed initial hypotheses that at the individual level, higher scores on the extraversion scale were associated with higher levels of drinks being consumed per day. At the daily level, increased use of daily problem-focused coping strategies were associated with fewer drinks being consumed per day while increased use of daily social support coping was marginally predictive of higher levels of drinks being consumed per day. These results suggest the relationship between extraversion and alcohol consumption to be at least partially mediated by these two coping strategies.
Master Of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2011
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