Anxiety sensitivity, distress tolerance, and discomfort intolerance in relation to coping and conformity motives for alcohol use and alcohol use problems among young adult drinkers

Ashley N. Howell, Teresa M. Leyro, Julianna Hogan, Julia D. Buckner, Michael J. Zvolensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anxiety sensitivity, distress tolerance, and discomfort intolerance have been identified as important factors related to alcohol use motives and alcohol-related problems. Yet, these variables are highly correlated and little work has delineated whether these psychological vulnerability factors are differentially related to alcohol use motives and problems. To fill this gap in the existing literature, the present study evaluated whether anxiety sensitivity, distress tolerance, and discomfort intolerance were differentially related to high-risk alcohol use motives (i.e., coping and conformity motives) and alcohol use problems among 224 young adult, current drinkers (52.3% women; Mage=21.18, SD=7.08). Results indicated that distress tolerance, but not anxiety sensitivity or discomfort intolerance, was significantly related to coping motives for alcohol use. Additionally, anxiety sensitivity, but not distress tolerance or discomfort intolerance, was significantly related to conformity motives for drinking. For both sets of analyses, the observed significant effects were evident above and beyond the variance accounted for by alcohol consumption level, smoking rate, negative affectivity, and non-criterion alcohol use motives. Additionally, discomfort intolerance and anxiety sensitivity each predicted alcohol use problems; effects were not attributable to negative affectivity, cigarettes smoked per day, or shared variance with distress tolerance. Findings are discussed in relation to the role of emotional sensitivity and intolerance in terms of the motivational bases for alcohol use and alcohol use problems among young adult drinkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1147
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume35
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Alcohol use problems
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Anxiety vulnerability factors
  • Discomfort intolerance
  • Distress tolerance
  • Drinking motives

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