What is it about?

This study examined how romantic relationship status and associated stress were related to changes in alcohol consumption and reasons for drinking (i.e., drinking motivations) from college life to post-college life five years later. Key findings indicated that higher levels of post-college chronic relationship stress and relationship dissolution stress were related to increased levels of post-college drinking to cope motivation, but not to enhancement motivation. In addition, individuals with higher chronic relationship stress levels displayed a stronger positive association between relationship dissolution stress and post-college increases in drinking to cope motivation.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show how negative reinforcement processes might be an important mechanism underlying commonly found associations between romantic relationship status and problematic drinking during young adulthood.


We hope the findings from this study help to improve our understanding of the role of romantic relationships in problematic drinking among young adults.

Stephen Armeli
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Romantic relationship status, stress, and maturing out of problematic drinking., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, February 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/adb0000698.
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