We examined among college students the interactive effects of drinking to cope (DTC) motivation, anxiety and depression symptoms, and drinking level in predicting drinking-related problems (DRPs). Using an Internet-based survey, participants (N = 844, 53% women) first reported on their drinking motives and monthly for up to three months, they reported on their drinking level, anxiety, depression, and DRPs. We found a three-way interaction between DTC motivation and average levels of drinking and anxiety (but not depression) in predicting DRPs. Specifically, among individuals with stronger DTC motives, higher mean levels of anxiety were associated with a stronger positive association between mean drinking levels and DRPs. We did not find three-way interactions in the models examining monthly changes in anxiety, depression, and drinking in predicting monthly DRPs. However, individuals high in DTC motivation showed a stronger positive association between changes in drinking level and DRPs. The results are discussed in terms of mechanisms related to attention-allocation and self-control resource depletion.
- drinking motives
- drinking-related problems
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health