Parental history of anxiety and alcohol-use disorders and alcohol expectancies as predictors of alcohol-related problems

Meghan E. Morean, William R. Corbin, Rajita Sinha, Stephanie S. O'Malley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Research has consistently identifi ed a family history of alcoholism as a risk factor for alcohol-related problems, and global positive expectancies have been found to moderate this association. High rates of comorbidity between alcohol use and anxiety disorders suggest that a family history of anxiety disorders may also increase risk. Further, expectations of negative reinforcement (e.g., tension reduction) have been found to moderate the infl uence of anxiety-related traits. The current study sought to extend previous research by examining the influence of parental history of alcoholism, anxiety disorders, and the combination, as predictors of alcohol-related problems. Expectancies of global positive changes and tension reduction were hypothesized to moderate the influence of parental history of alcoholism and anxiety, respectively. Method: Direct interviews with parents assessed their history of alcoholism and anxiety for 144 offspring (ages 18-32; 53.5% male) creating four groups: those with a parental history of alcoholism (27.80%), anxiety (22.20%), both alcoholism and anxiety (33.30%), and no history of psychopathology (16.70%). Established measures assessed the offsprings' alcohol expectancies, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems. Results: Although expected interactions between parental alcoholism and global positive expectancies and between parental anxiety and tension-reduction expectancies were not found, global positive expectancies were associated with alcohol-related problems among the group with parental history of both alcoholism and anxiety. Conclusions: The results suggest that the relation between parental history of alcoholism and global positive expectancies observed in previous studies may be strongest among individuals with a comorbid parental history of alcohol and anxiety disorders. Incorporating expectancies into interventions targeting individuals with a comorbid parental history of alcohol and anxiety disorders may have utility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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