Stress, Depression, Irrational Beliefs, and Alcohol Use and Problems in a College Student Sample


Craig T. Nagoshi, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287–1104.


One-hundred thirty-five alcohol-using college students completed a questionnaire on their levels of alcohol use, moderate-to-severe problems with alcohol use, the Eysenck 1.7 measure of impulsiveness and venturesomeness, the Zung depression scale, the “Hassles and Uplifts” scale of life stresses, and a scale of proneness to irrational beliefs. Impulsivity and venturesomeness were significantly correlated with quantity-frequency of alcohol use, but not with the occurrence of alcohol use problems; whereas depression, stress, and irrational beliefs were significantly correlated with alcohol problems, but not with alcohol use. Multiple regression analyses indicated that the effect of stress on alcohol problems was mediated by depression, whereas the effect of depression, in turn, was mediated by irrational beliefs.