The Enduring Influence of Drinking Motives on Alcohol Consumption After Fateful Trauma
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2011
Copyright © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 35, Issue 5, pages 1004–1010, May 2011
How to Cite
Beseler, C. L., Aharonovich, E. and Hasin, D. S. (2011), The Enduring Influence of Drinking Motives on Alcohol Consumption After Fateful Trauma. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 35: 1004–1010. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01431.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2011
- Received for publication April 29, 2010; accepted November 9, 2010.
- Drinking Motives
Objective: Drinking motives predict later levels of alcohol consumption and development of alcohol dependence, but their effects on stress-related drinking are less clear. Proximity to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11/01 was significantly associated with alcohol consumption 1 and 16 weeks after 9/11/01. We investigated the relationship between drinking motives measured a decade earlier, proximity to the WTC, and drinking after 9/11/01. This event constitutes a natural experiment for studying the effects of previously measured drinking motives on alcohol consumption after fateful trauma.
Methods: Adult drinkers (N = 644) residing in a New Jersey county were evaluated for four drinking motives: coping with negative affect, for enjoyment, for social facilitation and social pressure. After 9/11/01, their exposure to the WTC attack and subsequent drinking were assessed. Poisson regression was used to assess the relationships between proximity to the WTC, drinking motives and post-9/11/01 drinking; models were adjusted for alcohol dependence, age, gender and race.
Results: Drinking to cope with negative affect predicted alcohol consumption 1 week after 9/11/01 (p = 0.04) and drinking for enjoyment predicted drinking 1 and 16 weeks after 9/11/01 (p = 0.001 and 0.01, respectively). The associations were independent of proximity to the WTC. No interactions were observed between drinking motives, proximity to the WTC or lifetime alcohol dependence.
Conclusion: Drinking motives a decade earlier predicted higher alcohol consumption after fateful trauma independently from proximity to the WTC on 9/11/01. Results suggest that drinking motives constitute a robust, enduring influence on drinking behavior, including after traumatic experiences.