Date of Award

Summer 5-25-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Nora E. Charles

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Sara Jordan

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Randolph Arnau

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Eric Dahlen

Committee Member 4 School



Problematic substance use in young adulthood can lead to a variety of societal and individual consequences; therefore, it is important to understand risk factors contributing to its development. Although several individual and environmental factors can contribute to the development of substance misuse, the relationship between family dysfunction and emotional functioning in the prediction of substance use has been relatively understudied within this developmental period. The current study aimed to further understand how childhood family dysfunction, emotion regulation, and emotion reactivity aid in the development of young adult substance misuse. 405 young adults were surveyed about their childhood family experiences, current emotional functioning, and substance use history. Results were analyzed using mediated structural equation modeling (SEM) to assess the relationship amongst these factors. It was found that current emotional functioning mediated the relationship between childhood family dysfunction and substance use history. Implications of the current study include theoretical and practical applications.

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