The stressor vulnerability model of alcohol use posits that individuals learn to use drinking as a coping response when they believe healthier means of coping are unavailable. The present study evaluated hypotheses derived from the model adding two potential coping resources that may be important for adolescents—perceived family support and expectancies for negative mood regulation. Students in Grades 9–12 ( N =210, 50% female) completed self-report measures of family environment, alcohol expectancies, coping preferences, negative mood regulation, motives for drinking, and drinking behavior. Recent drinking, lifetime drinking, and drunkenness were positively associated with stronger tension reduction alcohol expectancies, and drinking to cope (DTC) completely mediated these relations. DTC also was associated with avoidant coping dispositions and with the interaction between tension reduction alcohol expectancies and avoidant coping dispositions. Family support and NMR expectancies were only modestly correlated with DTC and not correlated with drinking measures. In regression analyses, family support and NMR expectancies were not associated with DTC independent of tension reduction expectancies and avoidant coping disposition. However, these two coping resource variables moderated the relations of other predictors with DTC and with drunkenness. The present study supports the stressor vulnerability model and highlights the importance of family support and NMR expectancies as coping resources related to drinking processes. Because many of the tenets of the model appear to extend to adolescents, it may have considerable utility as a conceptual framework for the design and implementation of prevention programs.
Addictive Behaviors – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2004
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