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Influence of Negative Urgency on Trauma and Alcohol Cue Reactivity in Trauma-Exposed College Students
thesisposted on 2021-08-01, 00:00 authored by Hagar Hallihan
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorder that develops in some individuals who have experienced or witnessed a dangerous, scary, or shocking event, or as a consequence of exposure to traumatic events, frequently co-occur with alcohol use disorder (AUD). PTSD-AUD etiology is important to study in college students due to emerging adulthood being a sensitive period for the onset of these problems. Negative urgency, a facet of impulsivity, may be a common liability underlying PTSD symptom and the use of alcohol to manage negative affect among trauma exposed individuals. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine negative urgency in relation to (a) self-reported measures of coping motives and other indices of risky drinking during college and (b) laboratory assessment of conditioned craving response to negative emotion. It was hypothesized that individuals high in negative urgency are more likely to consume alcohol in response to negative affect, compared to those low in negative urgency. Participants were college students (ages 18-25) who completed diagnostic interviews and self-report measures of trauma and alcohol use. Results indicated greater negative urgency was significantly associated with self-reported craving, negative alcohol-related consequences and greater coping motives for alcohol, but not with past 30-day binge frequency or alcohol consumption. Negative urgency did not moderate the association between PTSD symptoms and any alcohol variables. There was no significant interaction between negative urgency and narrative cue on self-reported craving. The interaction between negative urgency and beverage cue on self-reported craving also was not statistically significant. Results suggest negative urgency may be a strong mechanism involved in alcohol use disorder and PTSD symptoms among trauma exposed college students.