"I Don't Get Drunk. I Get Awesome!" Employing a Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Framework to Examine Alcohol Use in Emerging Adulthood
AdvisorBurross, Heidi HB
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBuilding on emerging adulthood theory and the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation (VSA) framework, this dissertation research examined emerging-adult newlywed couples’ alcohol drinking behaviors. Four-annual-wave, dyadic data from 963 couples were analyzed with an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) to investigate 1) personality traits and stressful life events (SLEs) as predictors of emerging adults’ alcohol use, and 2) personality traits and alcohol use as predictors of emerging adults’ experiences with SLEs. Results revealed great predictive power of personality traits, especially for emerging-adult men; trait kindness and trait sociability were influential in alcohol involvement while trait anxiety and trait depression were closely associated with SLEs. Emerging-adult women’s perceived stressfulness of SLEs displayed both actor and partner effects, positively predicting alcohol involvement for themselves as well as for their emerging-adult husbands. The potential vicious circle of SLEs and alcohol drinking behaviors suggested by the VSA model was not supported. The findings inspire researchers to further explore whether men are more affected by internal characteristics whereas women are more susceptible to the external circumstances, which may enlighten couple therapy on coping strategies.
Degree ProgramGraduate College