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Psychophysiological and Self-Reported Emotional Responding in Alcohol-Dependent College Students: The Impact of Brief Acceptance/Mindfulness Instruction
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2009
Pages: 174 - 183
Source ID: shanti-sources-108116
Abstract: Drinking motivated by the desire to cope with painful emotions has been shown to be strongly related to alcohol dependence; the resulting maladaptive pattern of substance use can, therefore, be conceptualized as a form of experiential avoidance (an attempt to decrease contact with unpleasant internal states). Acceptance-based interventions, which specifically address experiential avoidance, are multifaceted, and the mechanisms of action are only beginning to be understood. Using a treatment analogue design to look at the underlying components of acceptance-based interventions, the authors tested the effects of brief mindfulness instructions on the emotional responding of alcohol-dependent college students and compared these results with those from a sample of nondependent students. Multidimensional self-reported and psychophysiological emotional responses to pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictorial stimuli did not differ between alcohol-dependent and nondependent participants or between the alcohol-dependent participants receiving the mindfulness versus neutral condition. Alcohol-dependent participants' severity of alcohol dependence was found to be related to both self-reported and psychophysiological responses to the unpleasant pictures; these results support the notion that alcohol-dependent participants may use alcohol to cope with unpleasant emotions.