Title

Protective Behavioral Strategies and Hazardous Drinking Among College Students: The Moderating Role of Psychological Distress

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-24-2018

School

Psychology

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that mental health problems may attenuate the relationship between protective behavioral strategies (PBS) and alcohol outcomes. However, psychological distress may also affect these relationships. Further, it appears that different types of PBS have differential relationships with alcohol outcomes. The current study examined the degree to which psychological distress moderated the associations PBS subtypes had with hazardous drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences. Participants were 632 traditional-age undergraduate students (M = 20.04, standard deviation = 1.48) who had consumed alcohol within the past 30 days and completed online self-report measures designed to assess PBS use, level of psychological distress, hazardous drinking patterns, and alcohol-related negative consequences. Serious harm reduction PBS were associated with less hazardous drinking and less alcohol-related negative consequences, and these associations were strengthened for those experiencing greater psychological distress. Controlled consumption PBS were associated with less hazardous drinking, but this association was not moderated by psychological distress. These findings highlight the potential benefit of teaching serious harm reduction PBS to college students experiencing elevated levels of psychological distress.

Publication Title

Journal of Drug Education

Volume

48

Issue

1-2

First Page

3

Last Page

17

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