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abstract  The tension-reduction model that links workplace stress to alcohol use and problems has received mixed support in previous investigations. Following recommendations that this model include moderated mediated relationships (Frone, 1999) using more specific forms of workplace stress, we examine the impact of gender ratio, generalized workplace abuse, and stereotype threat in an effort to predict alcohol use and problems particularly for managerial women. A total of 1410 (57 per cent response rate) employees completed a survey containing items on job stress, escapist reasons for drinking, and alcohol consumption and problems, and SEM analyses were conducted separately for managerial and non-managerial men and women. Results revealed that: (a) these three workplace stressors were differentially related to general workplace stress for the four groups; and (b) the contributions of the three stressors and of general work stress to the alcohol-related variables varied by group.