An Event-Level Evaluation of Women’s Self-Medicated Drinking: The Role of Sexual Assault Severity, Affect, and Drinking Motives

Cynthia A. Stappenbeck, Anna E. Jaffe, Jessica A. Blayney, Mitchell Kirwan, William H. George, Kelly Cue Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Women with sexual assault (SA) histories report heavier and more frequent drinking. Consistent with the motivational model of alcohol use, women with SA histories may consume alcohol to both downregulate negative emotions and upregulate positive ones. The present event-level study used a Bayesian multilevel moderated mediation approach to examine the extent to which women’s alcohol use and intoxication was influenced by coping and enhancement drinking motives to downregulate or upregulate affect, respectively. Method: Women ages 21–30 were recruited from the community to participate in a larger study that included a 32-day daily diary assessment of affect, drinking motives, and alcohol use. Results: We found consistent support for women’s tendencies to be motivated to drink to cope or enhance negative or positive affect, respectively, and those drinking motives were associated with indicators of increased drinking. Becoming intoxicated to downregulate negative emotion was common and this pathway was particularly strong for women who reported more severe SA histories. Although women with more severe SA histories were generally more likely to drink more, they were not likely to do so as a way to enhance positive experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • Drinking motives
  • Event-level
  • Self-medication
  • Sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An Event-Level Evaluation of Women’s Self-Medicated Drinking: The Role of Sexual Assault Severity, Affect, and Drinking Motives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this