Drinking motives as moderators of the effect of ambivalence on drinking and alcohol-related problems
Foster, Dawn W.
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The current study seeks to evaluate relationships between drinking motives and alcohol-related ambivalence in the prediction of problem drinking. We expected that: 1) main effects would emerge such that alcohol-related ambivalence would be positively associated with peak drinking and problems; drinking motives would be positively associated with drinking and problems, and 2) interactions would emerge between motives and ambivalence in predicting problematic drinking such that drinking motives would be positively associated with peak drinking and problems, especially among those high in ambivalence over drinking. Six hundred sixty-nine undergraduate students (mean age = 22.95, SD = 5.47, 82.22% female) completed study materials. Results showed that consistent with expectations, ambivalence was positively associated with peak drinking and problems. Further, consistent with expectations, drinking motives were positively associated with peak drinking and problems. Additionally, ambivalence was positively associated with drinking motives. Significant interactions emerged between drinking motives (social and coping) and ambivalence when predicting peak drinking and alcohol-related problems. These findings highlight the importance of considering motives in the relationship between ambivalence and drinking. Clinical implications include the need for tailoring interventions to target individual difference factors that increase risk for heavy drinking and associated problems. This is especially important among college students who may be at risk for problematic behavior.