Title

Depressive Symptoms and Drinking Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Drinking Motives and Protective Behavioral Strategies Among College Students

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-16-2017

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Background: College students with depressive symptoms tend to engage in more hazardous drinking and experience more alcohol-related consequences to cope with their symptoms. Given the perceived tension reducing effects of alcohol among these students, it is important to explore how protective factors, such as protective behavioral strategies, account for the relationships among depressive symptoms, drinking motives, and alcohol-related outcomes. Objective: To examine the mediating role of drinking motives and protective behavioral strategies on the associations that depressive symptoms have with typical weekly alcohol consumption, hazardous drinking, and alcohol-related negative consequences in a sample of college student drinkers. Methods: Traditional age college students (n = 566, 73% women; 58% White, non-Hispanic) completed measures of depression, drinking motives, protective behavioral strategies, weekly alcohol use, hazardous drinking, and alcohol-related negative consequences. Results: Coping with depression motives and controlled consumption PBS explained the association between depression and weekly alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking whereas coping with depression motives and serious harm reduction PBS explained the depression-negative consequences relationship. Conformity motives and serious harm reduction PBS explained the association between depression and hazardous drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences. Conclusions: Findings suggest that students with more depressive symptoms would benefit from clinical interventions tailored to address negative reinforcement drinking motives and, by extension, increase student utilization of PBS related to minimizing harm. Clinical and research implications are provided.

Publication Title

Substance Use & Misuse

Volume

53

Issue

1

First Page

143

Last Page

153

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