Attachment and alcohol : testing a motivational model of problem drinking /
Molnar, Danielle Sirianni.
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The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend a motivational model of problem drinking (Cooper, Frone, Russel, & Mudar, 1995; Read, Wood, Kahler, Maddock & Tibor, 2003), testing the notion that attachment is a common antecedent for both the affective and social paths to problem drinking. The model was tested with data from three samples, first-year university students (N=679), students about to graduate from university (N=206), and first-time clients at an addiction treatment facility (N=21 1). Participants completed a battery of questionnaires assessing alcohol use, alcohol-related consequences, drinking motives, peer models of alcohol use, positive and negative affect, attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance. Results underscored the importance of the affective path to problem drinking, while putting the social path to problem drinking into question. While drinking to cope was most prominent among the clinical sample, coping motives served as a risk factor for problem drinking for both individuals identified as problem drinkers and university students. Moreover, drinking for enhancement purposes appeared to be the strongest overall predictor of alcohol use. Results of the present study also supported the notion that attachment anxiety and avoidance are antecedents for the affective path to problem drinking, such that those with higher levels of attachment anxiety and avoidance were more vulnerable to experiencing adverse consequences related to their drinking, explained in terms of diminished affect regulation. Evidence that nonsecure attachment is a potent predictor of problem drinking was also demonstrated by the finding that attachment anxiety was directly related to alcohol-related consequences over and above its indirect relationship through affect regulation. However, results failed to show that attachment anxiety or attachment avoidance increased the risk of problem drinking via social influence.