Predicting dyscontrolled drinking with implicit and explicit measures of alcohol motivation

Brian D. Ostafin, Kyle T. Kassman, Peter J. de Jong, Madelon E. van Hemel-Ruiter

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
A defining feature of alcohol addiction is dyscontrol – drinking despite intentions to restrain use. Given that dyscontrolled drinking involves an automatic (nonvolitional) element and that implicit measures are designed to assess automatic processes, it follows that implicit measures may be particularly useful for predicting dyscontrolled alcohol use. Although there is accumulating evidence for the benefit of using implicit measures to predict nonvolitional behaviors, relatively little research has examined such predictive validity for alcohol dyscontrol. The current study was designed to examine whether an implicit measure of alcohol attitude would predict variance of dyscontrol above that explained by typical drinking behavior and an explicit measure of alcohol attitude.

Methods
A sample of 62 undergraduate students completed implicit and explicit measures of alcohol-positive (relative to alcohol-negative) valence associations and retrospective self-report measures of typical drinking behavior and difficulty in controlling alcohol consumption.

Results
Both the implicit and explicit measures predicted alcohol dyscontrol. The implicit measure continued to predict dyscontrol when controlling for the explicit measure and typical drinking behavior.

Conclusions
These findings indicate that assessing the automaticity of alcohol-positive associations may be beneficial for predicting clinically relevant behaviors such as post-treatment outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume141
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Aug-2014

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