The role of distress tolerance in the relationship between cognitive schemas and alcohol problems among college students

Raluca M. Simons, Rebecca E. Sistad, Jeffrey S. Simons, Jamie Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction The current study tested the role of distress tolerance in the relationship between three early maladaptive cognitive schemas (Abandonment, Defectiveness/Shame, and Insufficient Self-Control) and alcohol problems among college students (N = 364). Previous research suggests that maladaptive cognitive schemas may be a risk factor for alcohol-related problems. However, the mechanism underlying this association is unclear. One's tolerance for emotional distress may play an important role in understanding the nature of this association. Methods We tested a structural equation model where distress tolerance was expected to explain or moderate associations between early maladaptive schemas and alcohol outcomes. Results Results indicated distress tolerance partially mediated the relationships between schemas of Abandonment and Insufficient Self-Control and alcohol problems. Distress tolerance also significantly moderated the relationship between the Defectiveness/Shame schema and alcohol-related problems, reducing the strength of the association. Conclusions Distress tolerance is a modifiable risk factor and the results of this study support the inclusion of emotional regulation strategies in the prevention and treatment of alcohol problems among young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume78
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Cognitive schemas
  • College students
  • Distress tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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