- The relationship between drinking motives and alcohol-related interpretation biases
- Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Numerous studies have investigated drinking motives and alcohol-related interpretation biases (IBs) separately. However, less is known about the relationship between them. Therefore, the present study examined whether coping and enhancement drinking motives were specifically related to negative and positive alcohol-related IBs, respectively. Furthermore, it was investigated whether such biases predict future drinking, especially in individuals with low levels of executive control (EC).
METHODS: Participants were male and female university students. The Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised (DMQ-R; Cooper, 1994) was administered to measure participants' drinking motives. To measure alcohol-related IBs, an adapted version of the Encoding Recognition Task (ERT) was used. During the ERT, participants were asked to read ambiguous alcohol-related scenarios. In a subsequent recognition phase, participants interpreted these scenarios. A classical Stroop was applied to assess levels of EC.
RESULTS: Coping motives but not enhancement motives were a unique predictor of the tendency to interpret negatively valenced ambiguous alcohol-relevant situations in an alcohol-related manner. This relationship was significant even when controlling for other relevant predictors. Neither coping nor enhancement motives were predictive of positive alcohol-related IBs. Concerning the prediction of prospective drinking, results showed that particularly the negative alcohol-related IB predicted prospective drinking. However, EC did not moderate the prediction of prospective drinking by either positive or negative interpretation biases.
LIMITATIONS: The alcohol-ERT might not be the most optimal paradigm for assessing implicit alcohol-related IBs.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results emphasize the role of negative affect in the context of drinking motives and alcohol-related IBs. Follow-up studies are needed to test the robustness of these findings, and to further explore the general interplay between drinking motives and alcohol-related IBs.
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