Emotion Dysregulation Explains Associations between Anxiety Sensitivity and Hazardous Drinking and Drinking Motives among Adult Treatment-Seeking Smokers


Smoking and drinking frequently co-occur. For example, alcohol use is associated with smoking lapses during quit attempts. However, little is known regarding psychological factors explaining drinking among smokers. Anxiety sensitivity is a risk factor associated with hazardous drinking and drinking to cope and/or conform, although little is known about mechanisms underlying such associations. One potential explanatory factor is emotion dysregulation. The current study examined emotion dysregulation as an explanatory factor underlying Anxiety Sensitivity and 5 alcohol-related outcomes: hazardous drinking, alcohol consumption, alcohol problems, coping-oriented drinking, and drinking to conform. Participants for this study were 467 treatment-seeking adult, daily smokers (48.2% women; Mage = 36.7 years, SD = 13.6) who reported smoking an average of 16.5 cigarettes per day. Results indicate significant indirect effects of Anxiety Sensitivity on hazardous drinking via emotion dysregulation, alcohol consumption, alcohol problems, drinking to cope, and drinking to conform. Effects were medium in size. Alternative models testing indirect effects of emotion dysregulation through Anxiety Sensitivity on outcomes, and Anxiety Sensitivity through outcomes on emotion dysregulation were nonsignificant and all had small effect sizes. Follow-up tests examined the path of effects from Anxiety Sensitivity through specific emotion-dysregulation subfactors. Thus, among treatment-seeking smokers, emotion dysregulation may explain the associations of Anxiety Sensitivity with alcohol-related outcomes. This pattern of findings highlights the potential importance of interventions targeting emotion dysregulation among hazardous-drinking smokers.



Alcohol, Comorbidity, Smoking, Transdiagnostic, Vulnerabilities


Copyright 2017 Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: https://stephenson.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/emotion-dysregulation-explains-associations-between-anxiety-sensi. Recommended citation: Paulus, Daniel J., Jaclyn Valadka, Michael S. Businelle, Matthew W. Gallagher, Andres G. Viana, Norman B. Schmidt, and Michael J. Zvolensky. "Emotion Dysregulation Explains Associations Between Anxiety Sensitivity and Hazardous Drinking and Drinking Motives Among Adult Treatment-Seeking Smokers." Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 31, no. 2 (2017): 189-199. DOI: 10.1037/adb0000252. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.