My long-term goal is to develop a program of research focused on emotional and cognitive processes involved in initiation of drinking and maintenance of alcohol use disorders in order to inform research on prevention and treatment. The central objectives of the proposed project are to understand how negative affect and perceived relief from drinking influence drinking decisions in the moment, and to examine the role of alcohol outcome expectancies in this process. The specific research questions to be addressed are (1) Does negative affect prompt drinking, and is this effect conditional on alcohol relief expectancies?, and (2) Does drinking relieve negative affect and is this effect conditional on alcohol relief expectancies? I will use within individual electronic diary reports of negative affect, alcohol consumption, and perceived relief from drinking, and between individual baseline measurement of alcohol outcome expectancies to answer these questions Assessing the specific aims of the proposed fellowship will inform research on existing prevention and treatment approaches and have implications for new intervention strategies. One potential intervention would be an integration of electronic diary assessment with expectancy challenge and personalized assessment feedback approaches.

Public Health Relevance

Many people believe that alcohol consumption provides relief from negative affect, and in turn report drinking purposely to experience this relief. However, research to date has not fully supported the role of negative affect in drinking decisions, and there is evidence that alcohol does not actually provide relief from negative affect. Understanding these processes will be important for theoretical models of alcohol use as well as for prevention and intervention strategies to reduce drinking.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Witt, Ellen
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University of Missouri-Columbia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Treloar, Hayley; Piasecki, Thomas M; McCarthy, Denis M et al. (2015) Ecological evidence that affect and perceptions of drink effects depend on alcohol expectancies. Addiction 110:1432-42
Tomko, Rachel L; Lane, Sean P; Pronove, Lisa M et al. (2015) Undifferentiated negative affect and impulsivity in borderline personality and depressive disorders: A momentary perspective. J Abnorm Psychol 124:740-53
Treloar, Hayley; Martens, Matthew P; McCarthy, Denis M (2015) The Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale-20: improved content validity of the Serious Harm Reduction subscale. Psychol Assess 27:340-6
Morris, David H; Treloar, Hayley R; Niculete, Maria E et al. (2014) Perceived danger while intoxicated uniquely contributes to driving after drinking. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 38:521-8
Treloar, Hayley R; Martens, Matthew P; McCarthy, Denis M (2014) Testing measurement invariance of the protective behavioral strategies scale in college men and women. Psychol Assess 26:307-13
Gottlieb, Joshua C; Cohen, Lee M; Demarree, Kenneth G et al. (2013) The development and psychometric evaluation of the Smokeless Tobacco Expectancies Scale (STES). Psychol Assess 25:997-1001
Cyders, Melissa A (2013) Impulsivity and the sexes: measurement and structural invariance of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale. Assessment 20:86-97
Arterberry, Brooke J; Treloar, Hayley R; Smith, Ashley E et al. (2013) Marijuana use, driving, and related cognitions. Psychol Addict Behav 27:854-60
Weaver, Cameron C; Martens, Matthew P; Cadigan, Jennifer M et al. (2013) Sport-related achievement motivation and alcohol outcomes: an athlete-specific risk factor among intercollegiate athletes. Addict Behav 38:2930-6
McCarthy, Denis M; Niculete, Maria E; Treloar, Hayley R et al. (2012) Acute alcohol effects on impulsivity: associations with drinking and driving behavior. Addiction 107:2109-14

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