The objectives of this study are to 1)broaden the domain of psychosocial stressors typically studied in population surveys by examining macro level stressors (MLS) of current salience, including terrorism-related stressors, natural disasters, deployment in foreign wars and other MLS, and 2)depict the processes by which MLS impact on deleterious drinking outcomes. A MLS instrument, along with ways of coping which include collective """"""""transformatory"""""""" active modes of coping and personality-relevant reactions, will be developed by content analyses of the transcripts from focus groups. We will then conduct a two wave survey of a representative sample of the continental U.S. (N= 2507 at wave 1) employing mixed methods entailing RDD phone interviews to recruit respondents followed by mailed questionnaires. Our theoretical framework encompasses: MLS and micro level stress exposure, protective moderators (marital/partner status, perceived social support, active coping with a particular focus on """"""""transformatory"""""""" coping, and health and mental health service utilization), vulnerability moderators (personality deficits involving low sense of control, and negative affectivity, and alcohol-related factors involving positive expectancies, personal history of problem drinking and family history of problem drinking/alcoholism), distress and stress appraisal mediators (perceived stress burden, depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptomatology), social status (gender, SES and race/ethnicity), and drinking and substance use outcomes (quantity and frequency of consumption, binge drinking, drinking to intoxication, problem-related drinking and use of other licit and illicit drugs). Structural equation models will be used to test the study hypotheses depicting the processes by which MLS contribute to deleterious drinking outcomes. Long term public health-relevant goals are: 1)to produce a knowledge base depicting the dynamics by which MLS contribute to deleterious drinking outcomes and 2)suggest implications for social policies involving intervention and prevention efforts aimed at reducing MLS-engendered deleterious drinking outcomes.
This project is relevant to public health in so far as it addresses important social factors (in this case, particular types of social stressors) which are viewed as negatively impacting the mental health of individuals in society. More specifically, the study will demonstrate the ways in which macro social stressors lead to deleterious drinking outcomes, and factors important for interventions and prevention.
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