Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
Much research links impulsivity with alcohol use and problems. In 2 studies, unplanned (or impulsive) drinking is assessed directly to determine whether it has direct effects on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. In Study 1, we examined whether unplanned drinking serves as a proximal mediator of the effects of impulsivity-like traits on alcohol-related outcomes. With a sample of 211 college student drinkers, we found that the Unplanned Drinking Scale was significantly related to alcohol use, and perhaps more important, had a direct effect on alcohol-related problems even after controlling for frequency and quantity of alcohol use. Furthermore, unplanned drinking partially mediated the effects of negative urgency on alcohol-related problems. In Study 2, we examined whether unplanned drinking accounts for unique variance in alcohol-related outcomes when controlling for use of protective behavioral strategies. With a sample of 170 college students, we replicated the findings of Study 1 in that the Unplanned Drinking Scale had a significant direct effect on alcohol-related problems even after controlling for alcohol use; this effect was maintained when controlling for use of protective behavioral strategies. Limitations include the modest sample sizes and the cross-sectional design. Future directions for testing the Model of Unplanned Drinking Behavior are proposed.
Original Publication Citation
Pearson, M. R., & Henson, J. M. (2013). Unplanned drinking and alcohol-related problems: A preliminary test of the model of unplanned drinking behavior. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(3), 584-595. doi:10.1037/a0030901
Pearson, Matthew R. and Henson, James M., "Unplanned Drinking and Alcohol-Related Problems: A Preliminary Test of the Model of Unplanned Drinking Behavior" (2013). Psychology Faculty Publications. 72.