Depressive Symptoms and Alcohol-Related Problems Among College Students: A Moderated-Mediated Model of Mindfulness and Drinking to Cope
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 661 - 666
Source ID: shanti-sources-108791
Collection: Mindfulness Studies and Undergraduates
Abstract: Objective:In college student samples, the association between depressive symptoms and alcohol-related problems has been found to be mediated by drinking-to-cope motives. Mindfulness-based interventions suggest that mindfulness may attenuate the conditioned response of using substances in response to negative emotional states, and trait mindfulness has been shown to be a protective factor associated with experiencing fewer alcohol-related problems. In the present study, we examined trait mindfulness as a moderator of the indirect associations of depressive symptoms on alcohol-related problems via drinking-to-cope motives.Method:Participants were undergraduate students at a large, southeastern university in the United States who drank at least once in the previous month (n = 448). Participants completed an online survey regarding their personal mental health, coping strategies, trait mindfulness, and alcohol use behaviors. The majority of participants were female (n = 302; 67.4%), identified as being either White nonHispanic (n = 213; 47.5%) or African American (n = 119; 26.6%), and reported a mean age of 22.74 (SD = 6.81) years. Further, 110 (25%) participants reported having a previous and/or current experience with mindfulness mediation.Results:As hypothesized, the indirect effects from depressive symptoms to alcohol-related problems via drinking-to-cope motives were weaker among individuals reporting higher levels of mindfulness than among individuals reporting lower and average levels of mindfulness.Conclusions:The present study suggests a possible mechanism through which mindfulness-based interventions may be efficacious among college students: decoupling the associations between depressive symptoms and drinking-to-cope motives.