Substance Use & Misuse
Background: Understanding the potential psychosocial mechanisms that explain (i.e., mediate) the associations between depressive symptoms and alcohol-related problems can improve interventions targeting college students.
Objectives: The current research examined four distinct facets of rumination (e.g., problem-focused thoughts, counterfactual thinking, repetitive thoughts, and anticipatory thoughts) and drinking to cope motives as potential explanatory mechanisms by which depressive symptoms are associated with increased alcohol-related problems.
Method: Participants were undergraduate students from a large, southeastern university in the United States that consumed at least one drink per typical week in the previous month (n = 403). The majority of participants were female (n = 291; 72.2%), identified as being either White, non-Hispanic (n = 210; 52.1%), or African American (n= 110; 27.3%), and reported a mean age of 21.92 (SD=5.75) years.
Results: Structural equation modeling was conducted examining the concurrent associations between depressive symptoms, rumination facets, drinking to cope motives, and alcohol-related problems (i.e., cross-sectional). There was one significant double-mediated association that suggested that increased depressive symptoms is associated with increased problem-focused thoughts, which is associated with higher drinking to cope motives and alcohol-related problems.
Conclusions/Importance: Our results suggests that problem focused thoughts at least partially explains the associations between depression and maladaptive coping (i.e., drinking to cope), which in turn is related to problematic drinking among college students. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Original Publication Citation
Bravo, A. J., Pearson, M. R., & Henson, J. M. (2017). Drinking to cope with depressive symptoms and ruminative thinking: A multiple mediation model among college students. Substance Use & Misuse, 52(1), 52-62. doi:10.1080/10826084.2016.1214151
Bravo, Adrian J.; Pearson, Matthew R.; and Henson, James M., "Drinking to Cope With Depressive Symptoms and Ruminative Thinking: A Multiple Mediation Model Among College Students" (2017). Psychology Faculty Publications. 25.