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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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114. Proximal factors predicting substance use to cope: an ecological momentary assessment study

The use of substances to cope (STC) with negative affect is a central mechanism in the development of substance use disorders. Some work suggests that there are situational factors influencing STC, though research in this area is sparse. The present study examines two such factors: the type of negative emotion resulting from a stressor and other emotion regulation (ER) strategies used to address the stressor. Data were drawn from a larger 10-day ecological momentary assessment study examining ER strategies in daily life among treatment-seeking community participants. These analyses only include participants who reported current alcohol or drug use at baseline (N = 93). Participants completed one report each day shortly after experiencing a relatively strong emotional experience, in which they rated the intensity of negative emotions they experienced (i.e., fear, sadness, anger) and whether they used (Yes/No) 12 common ER strategies, including using STC. Multilevel structural equation modeling was used to account for the nested nature of the data. Results at the within-person level revealed that the use of STC was more likely to occur when individuals experienced 1) sadness and anger and 2) on occasions when participants also reported using suppression. These findings may inform intervention efforts.

Tiffany Jenzer
University at Buffalo

Kristin Naragon-Gainey
University at Buffalo

Tierney McMahon
University at Buffalo


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