Howard Tennen

Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States

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Publications (328)938.54 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Theory suggests that state- and trait-like factors should interact in predicting drinking to cope (DTC) motivation, yet no research to date has demonstrated this at the drinking episode level of analysis. Thus, we examined whether daily variation in positive and negative affect and avoidance and active coping were associated with DTC motivation during discrete drinking episodes and whether these associations were moderated by tension-reduction expectancies and other person-level risk factors.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016
  • Ross E. O'Hara · Stephen Armeli · Howard Tennen

    No preview · Article · Feb 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at high risk for substance use and intimate partner violence. Considering the effects of both PTSD and substance use such as poorer treatment outcomes and greater health/behavior problems, women experiencing intimate partner violence are a high-risk, under-researched group. Methods: We utilized a micro-longitudinal study design to assess daily drug and alcohol use over 21 days among 41 women experiencing intimate partner violence recruited from the community. Results: Participants were about 45 years old (M = 45.1, SD = 8.5) and mostly African American (n = 32, 78%). Co-occurrence of drug and alcohol use was reported on 19.0% of days, while drug use alone occurred on 13.4% of days and alcohol use on 12.1%. Fifteen percent of participants met current PTSD criteria, with a mean symptom severity rating of 15.90 (SD = 10.94, range 0 -47). Women with PTSD, compared to those without, were nearly 15 times more likely to have days of co-occurrence of drug and alcohol use (p = .037), and nearly 7 times more likely to have days of drug use alone (p = .044). Conclusions: These findings indicate that the combination of intimate partner violence and PTSD may make women especially prone to daily combined drug and alcohol use or drug use alone. Further research is needed to explore this association and examine the need for integrated programs to support victims' health, prevent the development of substance use problems, and facilitate recovery from PTSD and substance use.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Dual Diagnosis
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Research consistently shows drinking-to-cope (DTC) motivation is uniquely associated with drinking-related problems. We furthered this line of research by examining whether DTC motivation is predictive of processes indicative of poor emotion regulation. Specifically, we tested whether nighttime levels of episode-specific DTC motivation, controlling for drinking level, were associated with intensified affective reactions to stress the following day (i.e., stress-reactivity). Design and methods: We used a micro-longitudinal design to test this hypothesis in two college student samples from demographically distinct institutions: a large, rural state university (N = 1421; 54% female) and an urban historically Black college/university (N = 452; 59% female). Results: In both samples the within-person association between daily stress and negative affect on days following drinking episodes was stronger in the positive direction when previous night's drinking was characterized by relatively higher levels of DTC motivation. We also found evidence among students at the state university that average levels of DTC motivation moderated the daily stress-negative affect association. Conclusions: Findings are consistent with the notion that DTC motivation confers a unique vulnerability that affects processes associated with emotion regulation.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Anxiety Stress & Coping
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    ABSTRACT: For individuals with chronic pain, the within-person influence of affect and goal cognition on daily work-related goal striving is not yet well understood. The present study tested the hypothesis that anticipatory goal cognition in the form of a morning work goal schema mediates the relations between morning affect and later (afternoon and evening) work goal striving. Working adults with chronic pain (N = 131) completed a 21-day diary with morning, afternoon, and evening assessments analyzed via multi-level structural equation modeling. At the within-person level, morning positive and negative affect were positively associated with morning work goal schemas; and morning work goal schemas, in turn, positively predicted both afternoon and evening work goal striving. Our findings underscore the complex dynamics over time of the relationship between affect and self-regulatory processes and have implications for future studies and for interventions to assist working adults with chronic pain.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Behavioral Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive alcohol use in young adults is associated with greater impulsivity and neurobiological alterations in executive control systems. The maximum number of drinks consumed during drinking occasions ('MaxDrinks') represents a phenotype linked to vulnerability of alcohol use disorders, and an increase, or 'escalation', in MaxDrinks may be indicative of greater risk for problematic drinking. Thirty-six young adult drinkers performed a Go/No-Go task during fMRI, completed impulsivity-related assessments, and provided monthly reports of alcohol use during a 12-month follow-up period. Participants were characterized by MaxDrinks at baseline and after follow-up, identifying 18 escalating-drinkers and 18 constant-drinkers. Independent component analysis was used to investigate functional brain networks associated with response inhibition, and relationships with principal component analysis derived impulsivity-related domains were examined. Greater baseline MaxDrinks was associated with an average reduction in the engagement of a right-lateralized fronto-parietal functional network, while an escalation in MaxDrinks was associated with a greater difference in fronto-parietal engagement between successful inhibitions and error trials. Escalating-drinkers displayed greater impulsivity/compulsivity-related domain scores that were positively associated with fronto-parietal network engagement and change in MaxDrinks during follow-up. In young adults, an escalating MaxDrinks trajectory was prospectively associated with altered fronto-parietal control mechanisms and greater impulsivity/compulsivity scores. Continued longitudinal studies of MaxDrinks trajectories, functional network activity and impulsivity/compulsivity-related features may lend further insight into an intermediate phenotype vulnerable for alcohol use and addictive disorders.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 30 October 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.332.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Mark D Litt · Howard Tennen

    No preview · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to investigate the relationship between neuroticism and depression in an elderly cohort. In this paper, we describe the methods of an National Institute of Mental Health-NIMH-supported study and present findings among the cohort enrolled to date. We used the NEO Personality Inventory to assess neuroticism, and we employed several cognitive neuroscience-based measures to examine emotional control. Compared with a group of 27 non-depressed older control subjects, 33 older depressed subjects scored higher on measures of state and trait anxiety and neuroticism. On our experimental neuroscience-based measures, depressed subjects endorsed more negative words compared with controls on an emotional characterization test. In addition, we found a significant group-by-congruency effect on an emotional interference test where subjects were asked to identify the face's emotional expression while ignoring the words "fear" or "happy" labeled across the face. Thus, in this preliminary work, we found significant differences in measures of neuroticism and emotional controls among older adults with and without depression.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · International Psychogeriatrics
  • Stephen Armeli · Tami P Sullivan · Howard Tennen
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    ABSTRACT: Consistent with research indicating that drinking to cope (DTC) motivation might exacerbate negative affective states within or immediately proximal to discrete drinking episodes, we examined whether yearly deviations in more global levels of DTC motivation prospectively predicted depressive and anxious affect over several weeks. College students (N = 521, 52% women) completed baseline measures of drinking motives, recent depression and anxiety symptoms, recent alcohol use, and alcohol use disorder symptoms on a secure website. Approximately 2 weeks after completing this survey, participants completed the 30-day daily diary portion of the study in which they reported on their current-day affective states. This yearly assessment burst in which participants completed a baseline survey and a daily diary assessment was repeated for 3 additional years. We found that changes in DTC motivation were positively associated with changes in depressive and anxious affect in the subsequent month, after we controlled for changes in concurrent anxiety and depressive symptoms, drinking level, enhancement drinking motivation, and alcohol use disorder symptoms. Our findings are consistent with the notion that DTC motivation confers a unique vulnerability for emotion dysregulation, and that drinking for such reasons possibly prolongs or exacerbates negative affective states.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
  • Mark D. Litt · Ronald M. Kadden · Howard Tennen
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Network Support treatment was intended to help alcohol dependent patients alter their close social support networks to be more supportive of sobriety and less supportive of drinking. The purpose of the present study was to examine the differential influences of Network Support treatment on men and women. Methods: Alcohol dependent men (n=122) and women (n=88) recruited from the community were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 12-week outpatient treatment conditions: Network Support (NS), Network Support+Contingency Management (NS+CM), or Case Management (CaseM; a control condition). Patients were then followed for a period of 27 months. Multilevel modeling was used to evaluate Sex×Treatment interaction effects on outcome variables over time. Tests of mediation were used to determine what factors might account for differential effectiveness for men or women in the NS conditions. Results: Analyses of drinking-related outcome measures over the 27 months indicated that women fared less well overall, and particularly poorly in the Network Support conditions, relative to men. Tests of mediation indicated that self-efficacy change and change in the number of non-drinking close associates partially mediated the effect of NS treatments on outcome. Conclusions: It was concluded that the NS conditions failed to alter women's social networks, and may have had the effect of undermining women's self-efficacy. Network Support treatment might be applicable for women and more effective generally if particular attention is paid to understanding preexisting social support networks.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Addictive Behaviors
  • Dhwani J Kothari · Mary C Davis · Ellen W Yeung · Howard A Tennen
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    ABSTRACT: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition often resulting in functional impairments. Nonrestorative sleep is a prominent symptom of FM that is related to disability, but the day-to-day mechanisms relating the prior night's sleep quality to next-day reports of disability have not been examined. This study examined the within-day relations among early-morning reports of sleep quality last night, late-morning reports of pain and positive and negative affect, and end-of-day reports of activity interference. Specifically, we tested whether pain, positive affect, and negative affect mediated the association between sleep quality and subsequent activity interference. Data were drawn from electronic diary reports collected from 220 patients with FM for 21 consecutive days. The direct and mediated effects at the within-person level were estimated with multilevel structural equation modeling. Results showed that pain and positive affect mediated the relation between sleep quality and activity interference. Early-morning reports of poor sleep quality last night predicted elevated levels of pain and lower levels of positive affect at late-morning, which, in turn, predicted elevated end-of-day activity interference. Of note, positive affect was a stronger mediator than pain and negative affect was not a significant mediator. In summary, the findings identify 2 parallel mechanisms, pain and positive affect, through which the prior night's sleep quality predicts disability the next day in patients with FM. Furthermore, results highlight the potential utility of boosting positive affect after a poor night's sleep as one means of preserving daily function in FM.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Pain
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    ABSTRACT: Research consistently shows a positive association between racial discrimination and problematic alcohol use among African Americans, but little is known about the micro-processes linking this pernicious form of stress to drinking. One possibility is that the cumulative effects of discrimination increase individuals' likelihood of negative-mood-related drinking. In the current study, we examined whether individual differences in lifetime perceived racial discrimination among African American college students moderate relations between daily negative moods and evening alcohol consumption in both social and nonsocial contexts. Data came from an online daily diary study of 441 African Americans (58% female) enrolled at a historically black college/university. Lifetime discrimination was measured at baseline. For 30 days, students reported the number of drinks they consumed the night before both socially and nonsocially, as well as their daytime level of negative mood. In support of the hypotheses, only men who reported higher (vs. lower) lifetime discrimination showed a positive association between daily negative mood and that evening's level of nonsocial drinking. Contrary to expectation, women who reported higher (vs. lower) discrimination showed a negative association between daily negative mood and nonsocial drinking. Neither daily negative mood nor lifetime discrimination predicted level of social drinking. These findings provide further evidence that the cumulative impact of racial discrimination may produce a vulnerability to negative-mood-related drinking-but only for African American men. Importantly, these effects emerged only for nonsocial drinking, which may further explain the robust association between discrimination and problematic alcohol use. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 76, 229-236, 2015).
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated relationships of income and self-reported racial discrimination to diabetes health behaviors following an acute stressor. A total of 77 diabetic women (51% Black, 49% White) completed a laboratory public speaking stressor. That evening, participants reported same-day eating, alcohol consumption, and medication adherence; physical activity was measured with actigraphy, and the next morning participants reported sleep quality. Measures were repeated on a counterbalanced control day. There was no mean level difference in health behaviors between stressor and control days. On stressor day, lower income predicted lower physical activity, sleep quality, and medication adherence, and higher racial discrimination predicted more eating and alcohol consumed, even after accounting confounders including race and control day behaviors. © The Author(s) 2015.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Health Psychology
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    James A. Cranford · Howard Tennen · Robert A. Zucker
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This study examined gender differences in alcohol involvement and marital interactions among probands with a past 1-year alcohol use disorder (AUD). Methods: Adults with alcohol dependence (37 males and 17 females) and their spouses were recruited from a local substance abuse treatment center and from the local community. Couples completed a series of self-report measures and a 15-min videotaped marital interaction task that was coded for negative and positive behaviors and sequential interactions. Couples also separately called in to an interactive voice response (IVR) system every night for 14 consecutive nights and reported on their spouse's negative and positive marital behaviors. Results: Compared to male probands, female probands reported a) more negative marital interactions in the previous month; b) higher levels of negative reciprocity and a lower positive-to-negative ratio in the marital interaction task; and c) more daily and nightly marital conflict over the 14-day diary period. Negative marital behaviors in the evening by female spouses were associated with higher odds of intoxication among male probands on the following day. In contrast, a) negative marital behaviors by male spouses were cross-sectionally associated with higher odds of intoxication among female probands within the same day; and b) positive marital behaviors by male spouses during the day were associated with lower odds of intoxication among female probands that night. Conclusions: Marital conflict, assessed via multiple methods over multiple time scales, appears to be more frequent among female compared to male alcoholics. Marital conflict predicts daily intoxication among male and female probands.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Addictive Behaviors
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes is the only disorder in which women's risk for heart disease exceeds men's. Elevated blood pressure (BP) increases cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes. Racial discrimination and neuroticism are both associated with BP levels but have not been examined in concert. This study investigated self-reported racial discrimination, neuroticism and ambulatory BP in women with type 2 diabetes. Thirty-nine Black and 38 White women completed a race-neutral version of the Schedule of Racist Events; BP was evaluated using ambulatory monitoring devices. Actigraphy and diaries were used to document times of sleep and wakefulness. Racial discrimination interacted with neuroticism to predict systolic and diastolic BP both while awake and during sleep, after adjustment for covariates. For each, the influence of racist events was stronger at lower levels of neuroticism. Racial discrimination is associated with higher levels of 24-h BP in diabetic women who are low in neuroticism. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Stress and Health
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    ABSTRACT: To document the time course of perceived stress among women through the period of a natural disaster, to determine the effect of sleep quality on this time course, and to identify risk factors that predict higher levels of perceived stress. Longitudinal study from 2006-2012. Community-based family planning clinics in southeast Texas. There were 296 women aged 18-31 y who experienced Hurricane Ike, September 2008. Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered every 2 mo from 6 mo before to 12 mo after Hurricane Ike. Sleep quality was assessed 1 mo after Hurricane Ike using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Good sleep was defined as a PSQI summary score < 5, and poor sleep as a score ≥ 5. Hurricane Ike stressors (e.g., property damage, subjective stressors) and pre-Ike lifetime major life events and emotional health (e.g., emotional dysregulation, self-control) were also assessed. Over the entire period of 18 mo (6 mo before and 12 mo after the hurricane), perceived stress was significantly higher among poor sleepers compared to good sleepers, and only good sleepers showed a significant decrease in perceived stress after Hurricane Ike. In addition, a higher level of perceived stress was positively associated with greater Ike damage among poor sleepers, whereas this correlation was not observed among good sleepers. In the final multivariate longitudinal model, Ike-related subjective stressors as well as baseline major life events and emotional dysregulation among poor sleepers predicted higher levels of perceived stress over time; among good sleepers, additional factors such as lower levels of self-control and having a history of a psychiatric disorder also predicted higher levels of perceived stress. Sleep quality after Hurricane Ike, an intense natural disaster producing substantial damage, impacted changes in perceived stress over time. Our findings suggest the possibility that providing victims of disasters with effective interventions to improve sleep quality could help to reduce their perceived stress over time. © 2014 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Sleep
  • Laurie D. Wolf · Mary C. Davis · Ellen W. Yeung · Howard A. Tennen
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This daily diary study of individuals with fibromyalgia (FM) examined whether morning increases in loneliness relate to worsened evening bodily pain through afternoon negative pain cognitions. Methods: 220 participants with FM completed electronic diaries 4 times a day for 21days to assess loneliness, negative pain cognitions, bodily pain, and social enjoyment. Multilevel structural equation modeling was used to examine within-person relations of morning increases in loneliness, afternoon negative pain cognitions, and evening pain, controlling for morning pain. Results: On mornings when individuals experienced higher than their usual levels of loneliness, they experienced higher levels of afternoon maladaptive pain cognitions, which in turn predicted increases in evening pain above the level of morning pain. Afternoon maladaptive pain cognitions fully mediated the relations between morning loneliness and evening pain. Conclusions: Lonely episodes are associated with subsequent increases in negative patterns of thinking about pain, which in turn predict subsequent increases in bodily pain within a day. Because pain cognitions mediate the loneliness-pain link, FM interventions may benefit from addressing individuals' vulnerability to maladaptive cognitions following lonely episodes.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Psychosomatic Research
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    Helen Wu · Emil Coman · Howard Tennen · James Grady

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Drug and Alcohol Dependence
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies indicate that topiramate reduces alcohol use among problem drinkers, with one study showing that the effect was moderated by a polymorphism (rs2832407) in GRIK1, the gene encoding the GluK1 kainate subunit. We examined whether the interactive effect of medication and genotype (1) altered the association between daily self-efficacy and later-day drinking; and (2) had an indirect effect on drinking via self-efficacy. In a 12-week, placebo-controlled trial of topiramate, we used daily interactive voice response technology to measure self-efficacy (i.e. confidence in avoiding heavy drinking later in the day) and drinking behavior in 122 European-American heavy drinkers. Topiramate's effects on both self-efficacy and drinking level were moderated by rs2832407. C-allele homozygotes treated with topiramate showed higher levels of self-efficacy and lower levels of nighttime drinking across the 12-week trial. Further, the interactive effect of topiramate and genotype on mean nighttime drinking levels was mediated by mean levels of self-efficacy. By modeling topiramate's effects on nighttime drinking across multiple levels of analysis, we found that self-efficacy, a key psychologic construct, mediated the effect of topiramate, which was moderated by rs2832407 genotype. Thus, it may be possible to use an individualized assessment (i.e. genotype) to select treatment to optimize the reduction in heavy drinking and thereby provide a personalized treatment approach.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Addiction Biology
  • Ross E O'Hara · Stephen Armeli · Howard Tennen
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    ABSTRACT: Prior investigations have established between-person associations between drinking motives and both levels of alcohol use and social-contextual factors surrounding that use, but these relations have yet to be examined at the within-person level of analysis. Moreover, exploring previously posited subtypes of coping motives (i.e., coping with depression, anxiety, and anger) may shed light on the within-person processes underlying drinking to cope. In this daily diary study of college student drinking (N = 722; 54% female), students reported each day how many drinks they consumed the previous evening in both social and nonsocial settings along with their motives for each drinking episode. Additionally, they reported whether they attended a party the evening before, the number of people they were with, the gender makeup of that group, and their perceptions of their companions' drinking prevalence and quantity. External reasons for drinking-social and conformity motives-showed patterns largely consistent across levels of analysis and in agreement with motivational models. However, internal reasons for drinking-enhancement and coping motives-demonstrated divergent associations that suggest different processes across levels of analysis. Finally, coping subtypes showed differing associations with drinking levels and social-contextual factors dependent on the predisposing emotion and the level of analysis. These results suggest that internal drinking motives have unique state and trait components, which could have important implications for the application of motivational models to prevention and treatment efforts. We recommend including drinking motives (including coping subtypes) as within-person measures in future microlongitudinal studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

Publication Stats

13k Citations
938.54 Total Impact Points


  • 2006-2015
    • Arizona State University
      • Department of Psychology
      Tempe, Arizona, United States
    • The University of Memphis
      Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • 2000-2015
    • Community Health Center, Connecticut
      मिडलटाउन, Connecticut, United States
    • Yale University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 1990-2015
    • University of Connecticut
      • • Department of Community Medicine and Health Care
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      Storrs, Connecticut, United States
  • 2008-2014
    • Fairleigh Dickinson University
      Teaneck, New Jersey, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Maine at Farmington
      Farmington, Maine, United States
  • 1991
    • University of Kansas
      • Department of Psychology
      Lawrence, Kansas, United States