Vulnerability to adverse consequences of drinking and problem drinker status as predicted by risky drinking behaviours, drug use, sex differences and affect : a test of multiple models /
Snelgrove, Peter B.
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Although alcohol problems and alcohol consumption are related, consumption does not fully account for differences in vulnerability to alcohol problems. Therefore, other factors should account for these differences. Based on previous research, it was hypothesized that risky drinking behaviours, illicit and prescription drug use, affect and sex differences would account for differences in vulnerability to alcohol problems while statistically controlling for overall alcohol consumption. Four models were developed that were intended to test the predictive ability of these factors, three of which tested the predictor sets separately and a fourth which tested them in a combined model. In addition, two distinct criterion variables were regressed on the predictors. One was a measure of the frequency that participants experienced negative consequences that they attributed to their drinking and the other was a measure of the extent to which participants perceived themselves to be problem drinkers. Each of the models was tested on four samples from different populations, including fIrst year university students, university students in their graduating year, a clinical sample of people in treatment for addiction, and a community sample of young adults randomly selected from the general population. Overall, support was found for each of the models and each of the predictors in accounting for differences in vulnerability to alcohol problems. In particular, the frequency with which people become intoxicated, frequency of illicit drug use and high levels of negative affect were strong and consistent predictors of vulnerability to alcohol problems across samples and criterion variables. With the exception of the clinical sample, the combined models predicted vulnerability to negative consequences better than vulnerability to problem drinker status. Among the clinical and community samples the combined model predicted problem drinker status better than in the student samples.