Despite strong evidence for an association between the experience of posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms and substance use, little is known about the particular individuals most at-risk for problematic substance use in response to PTS symptoms. Consequently, the goal of this study was to conduct a prospective investigation of the moderating role of emotion dysregulation (assessed through self-report and behavioral measures) in the relation between PTS symptoms and substance use 8-months later within a sample of 106 young adult women. No main effect of PTS symptoms on substance use was found. Instead, PTS symptoms were only associated with later substance use in the context of heightened emotion dysregulation. Results provide support for emotion dysregulation as a key factor that may increase risk for substance use among women experiencing PTS symptoms and highlight a target for future interventions aimed at reducing risk for the development of maladaptive behaviors stemming from PTS symptoms.
- Emotion regulation
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health