Drinking expectancies and motives: A genetic study of young adult women

Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 03/2008; 103(2):194-204. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02074.x
Source: PubMed


Constructs such as drinking expectancies (beliefs regarding the effects of alcohol) and motives (drinking alcohol to achieve a valued end) have been shown to be associated with various stages of alcohol use behaviors. However, little is known of the extent to which genetic and environmental influences contribute to individual differences in expectancies and motives.
Using data from 3,656 young adult same-sex female twins, we examined the association between measures of drinking expectancies and motives and drinking behaviors. Using twin models, we estimated the extent to which genetic, shared and non-shared environmental factors influenced individual differences in expectancies and motives and also tested whether the extent of the genetic and environmental contributions on expectancies varied across abstainers and users of alcohol.
Expectancies predicted initiation of alcohol use. Both motives and expectancies were associated with frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption and drinks-to-intoxication. There was no evidence for heritable influences on expectancies and enhancement motives, with familial similarity for these traits being due to shared environment. Heritable influences on social, coping and conformity motives ranged from 11% to 33%. When expectancies were stratified by alcohol use, significant heritable influences (31-39%) were found for cognitive-behavioral impairment and risk-taking/negative self-perception (RT/NSP) in abstainers only, while environmental influences contributed to familial variance for other measures of expectancies in alcohol users.
Environmental influences (both familial and individual-specific) shape alcohol expectancies, while heritable influences may predispose to motives for drinking. Individual differences in expectancies are moderated by alcohol use, suggesting that sources of individual differences in expectancies may vary in drinkers versus abstainers.

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    • "In contrast, expectancies are beliefs about the effects of alcohol and are in evidence even before the onset of alcohol use (Jester et al., 2015). Both motives and expectancies have been linked to alcohol use, involving both frequency and consumption (Agrawal et al., 2008). In this study, we measured alcohol expectancies because, at ages 12–14, many of our participants had not yet initiated alcohol use. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The relationship between experiencing trauma and increased alcohol consumption has been well established. Exposure to childhood trauma has been linked to both early onset of drinking and problematic substance use. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unclear. The results of early work suggested that drinking to relieve negative affect (i.e., drinking to cope) was driving this connection. However, the findings of more recent work suggest that drinking might be used to enhance positive affect as a way of addressing the aftereffects of early trauma. The current study looked at these two drinking expectancies as indirect pathways between the experience in early childhood of living in a home with parental violence and peak alcohol use in emerging adulthood. Method: Participants were 1,064 children and their parents involved in a longitudinal community study of children at high risk for the development of alcoholism and a community contrast group of those at lower risk. Baseline assessment was at age 3-5 years, self-reports of internalizing behavior and drinking expectancies were obtained at age 12-14, and drinking measures were assessed at age 18-20. Results: Results indicated that coping expectancy was a mediator of the relationship between early childhood trauma and later peak alcohol use, whereas enhancement expectancy was not. Conclusions: Children living in homes with parental violence were more likely to develop ineffective coping strategies, such as using alcohol to decrease negative affect. These results support the self-medication theory. They also demonstrate the long-term effects of early life experience on drinking behavior in early adulthood.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
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    • "al., 2008; Prescott et al., 2004). However, the heritability of enhancement motives has been shown to be more inconsistent, in so far as evidence suggests that they are heritable only in certain subgroups or when certain environmental factors are present (see Agrawal et al., 2008; Kristjansson et al., 2011). Further, Prescott et al. (2004) found a substantial portion of genetic variation in AUDs overlapped with genetic variation in drinking to manage mood states. "
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic risk for alcohol dependence has been shown to overlap with genetic factors contributing to variation in dimensions of personality. Although drinking motives have been posited as important mediators of the alcohol-personality relation, the extent to which the genetic covariance between alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms (i.e., abuse and dependence criteria) and personality is explained by genetic factors contributing to variation in drinking motives remains unclear. Using data from 2,904 young adult female twins, the phenotypic and genetic associations between personality dimensions (constraint [measured by the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire; Tellegen A, 1982 unpublished data], conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness [measured by the NEO-PI; Costa and McCrae, 1985]), internal drinking motives (enhancement and coping motives [measured by the Drinking Motive Questionnaire; Cooper, 1994]), and AUD symptoms were tested. Significant genetic associations were found between all personality measures and AUD symptoms. Coping motives showed significant genetic overlap with AUD symptoms and most personality measures, whereas enhancement motives were not significantly heritable. Adjusting for coping motives, genetic correlations between AUD symptoms and traits of neuroticism and agreeableness were no longer statistically significant. Findings suggest that genetic variation in drinking to cope might account for a considerable proportion of the genetic covariance between specific personality dimensions and AUD symptoms.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
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    • "A growing body of research suggests that drinking motivated by a desire or need to regulate positive versus negative affect is associated with unique patterns of alcohol use and distinct etiologic processes (Kuntsche et al., 2005, 2006; Cooper et al., 2008; Cox and Klinger, 1988, 1990; Cooper 1994; Cooper et al., 1995). Drinking motives are persistent over time, predict later problem drinking (Bennett et al., 1999; Jackson and Sher, 2005) and are partly heritable (Prescott et al., 2004; Agrawal et al., 2008). Those who drink to cope with negative affect, including stress-related drinking, are at greater risk of alcohol problems than others (Cooper et al., 1992b; Cooper 1994, 1995; Read et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: 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. 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. 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. 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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
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