Date of Award

2022-05-01

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Craig A. Field

Abstract

Previous studies have examined the associations between types of psychological stress and alcohol consumption but have not adequately examined psychological stress from a cumulative perspective. The present study sought to examine if self-report measures representing chronic stress, acute stress, life events, traumatic life events, and daily hassles throughout one’s lifetime were associated with drinking outcomes obtained from an online sample of at-risk drinkers reporting drinking patterns in the previous 90 days. Furthermore, the present study sought to examine if an index of protective factors moderate the effects of psychological stress on drinking outcomes. It was hypothesized that (1) the measures representing chronic stress, acute stress, life events, traumatic life events, and daily hassles would yield one latent construct defined as psychological cumulative stress, thus demonstrating construct validity, (2) the psychological cumulative stress latent construct represented by measures of chronic stress, acute stress, life events, traumatic life events, and daily hassles score would be positively associated with the average number of standard drinks per week, the maximum amount consumed on one occasion, and the frequency of binge drinking; drinking severity; and alcohol-related problems, thus demonstrating concurrent validity, (3) using linear regressions, the psychological cumulative stress index scores informed by the percentiles would be positively associated with the average number of standard drinks per week, the maximum amount consumed on one occasion, and the frequency of binge drinking; drinking severity; and alcohol-related problems, thus also demonstrating concurrent validity, and (4) a standardized cumulative score of protective factors (derived using posttraumatic growth scores, resilience scores, social support scores, positive childhood experiences scores, and uplifts) would moderate the effects of the psychological cumulative stress score on all drinking outcomes. Overall, the data did not support the proposed model (hypothesis 1; X2 = N/A, p = N/A, CFI = N/A, SRMR = N/A). Instead, the data supported a two-factor structure (X2 = 107.763, p < .001, CFI = .914, SRMR = .061). This two-factor structure, however, demonstrated sample mean standard errors that may not be representative of a population parameter. While model fit indices for the two-factor structure as they relate to drinking outcomes were stronger (X2(36) = 168.026, p < .001, CFI = .902, SRMR = .045), sample mean standard errors were also observed to high. As a result, the proposed models are interpreted with caution. However, in constructing the psychological cumulative stress based on a similar calculation first proposed by McEwen and Stellar (see Seeman et al., 1997), the index was associated with the Typical Number of Drinks consumed on drinking occasions (β = .408, p = .001), the Maximum Number of Drinks consumed on drinking occasions (β = .481, p = .023), the frequency of Binge Drinking episodes (β = .131, p = .021), the Volume per Week (β = 1.637, p = .041), Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores (β = 1.162, p < .001), and the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI) scores (β = 2.656, p < .001). This index was not associated with the frequency of drinking (β = -.010, p = .888). Lastly, the index of proactive factors informed by the posttraumatic growth scores, resilience scores, social support scores, positive childhood experiences scores, and daily uplifts scores did not moderate the effects of psychological cumulative stress scores on drinking outcomes. While the statistical models were not fully supported, the psychological cumulative stress score index was statistically significant and positively associated with six out of seven drinking outcomes. The evidence suggests there is support for examining multiple types of psychological stress throughout one’s lifetime in the context of cumulative stress as opposed to relying on a single type of psychological stress as it relates to drinking outcomes.

Language

en

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

File Size

103 p.

File Format

application/pdf

Rights Holder

Carlos Portillo

Included in

Psychology Commons

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