Associations between executive functioning, affect-regulation drinking motives and alcohol use and problematic drinking
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Extant literature confirms the direct effects of two key constructs on alcohol use and problematic drinking: (1) motivations to use alcohol to regulate positive and negative mood, (2) deficits in cognitive control or executive functions (EFs). Nevertheless, the intersection of affect-regulation motives and cognitive control/EFs on alcohol use and problematic drinking has remained largely unexplored. The present study examined the extent to which the effects of enhancement and coping drinking motives on alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences are moderated by individual differences in three EF-components: Common EF, Updating-specific, and Shifting-specific. It was anticipated, in general, that drinking motives more strongly predict alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences among individuals low versus high in cognitive control/EF. Participants (N = 801) completed a battery of nine EF tasks as well as measures of drinking motives, alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related negative consequences. A baseline structural model indicated that (1) both enhancement motives and coping motives predicted alcohol use, (2) the effects of enhancement motives on alcohol-related consequences were entirely meditated by alcohol use, (3) coping motives exerted their effects on alcohol-related consequences both directly and indirectly via alcohol use, and (4) shifting/switching abilities positively but only marginally predicted involvement in alcohol use. However, latent variable interaction analyses failed to provide consistent evidence that better EF abilities attenuate the effects of drinking motives on alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences, as predicted. Keywords: drinking motives, heavy drinking, alcohol-related consequences, latent variable modeling, latent variable interaction analysis
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