Drinking for relief: Negative affect increases automatic alcohol motivation in coping-motivated drinkers

Brian D. Ostafin, Jessica J. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although there is increasing evidence that automatic alcohol motivation plays a role in drinking behavior, little research has examined the contexts that elicit these automatic processes. This study was designed to examine whether negative affect would increase the strength of automatic alcohol-approach associations in individuals who drink to cope with negative emotion. Participants consisted of regular drinkers who were high or low in motivation to consume alcohol to cope with negative emotion. In session 1, participants completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald in, J Pers Soc Psychol 74: 1464–1480, 1998) to assess automatic alcohol-approach associations. In session 2, participants were administered a personalized negative affect imagery task (Sinha in, Imagery script development procedures, version 4.1. Unpublished manuscript, Yale University School of Medicine, 2005) and completed another IAT. The results indicated that the negative affect induction increased the strength of automatic alcohol-approach associations in participants with high coping motivation but not in participants with low coping motivation. These data are the first to document that negative affect can increase the strength of automatic motivational processes related to alcohol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST
  • AFFECTIVE SIMON TASK
  • EMOTIONAL IMAGERY
  • SOCIAL COGNITION
  • HEAVY DRINKERS
  • DRUG URGES
  • MODEL
  • ACTIVATION
  • EXPECTANCY
  • ATTITUDES

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