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bulk of literature in this area has typically investigated these factors in isolation from each other (at best, only two of these factors have been combined simultaneously). Since stress-related drinking , however, is such a complex phenomenon (recall that the tension reduction hypothesis of drinking does not apply universally) it is necessary to integrate these factors in order to gain a complete, holistic picture. The only study which has combined all three factors simultaneously was the landmark study of Cooper et al. (1992). The study tested an interactional model of stress-related drinking which postulated that “exposure to environmental stressors is most strongly related to alcohol use and abuse among vulnerable individuals”, such that, “Vulnerable individuals are

more likely to be male, to hold strong positive expectancies for alcohol’s effects, and to have limited adaptive coping responses” (Cooper et al. , 1992; P. 141). The results supported a stressor vulnerability model of drinking. As expected, it was found that men were more likely to drink than women by virtue of their gender role socialization. More importantly, however, it was also found that, for problem drinking to occur in men, a second vulnerability factor must often be present. In particular, men who either held strong positive expectancies or relied on avoidant forms of coping were more likely to be problem drinkers than men who did not possess these attributes. (Cooper et al. , 1992). With respect to expectancies, it was shown again that both men and women who held

strong positive AOE, drank significantly more then men and women who did not. Much more important, however, was the finding that “expectancies appeared to function as stressor vulnerability factor among men but not among women” (Cooper et al. , 1992; P. 148). Finally, with regards to coping, it was confirmed that coping styles play an important role in problem drinking. However, significant interactions with gender and expectancies were also indicated. Men who relied on avoidant forms of coping were more likely than women to be vulnerable to stress induced drinking. Similarly, stressors were much more likely to elicit problem drinking among individuals who were both high in avoidance coping and positive AOE, than amongst individuals who were only high in avoidance coping.

(Cooper et al. , 1992). Purpose of the present study The purpose of the present study is to extend and modify the work of Cooper et al. (1992) in an attempt to clarify the role of stress in alcohol consumption, with respect to the interactional stressor vulnerability model of drinking. Specifically, the Cooper et al. (1992) study was limited to the investigation of gender, coping, and expectancies in stress-related drinking. Given that Family history of alcoholism (FH) has been shown to play a significant role in drinking (i.e., Cotton, 1979; Goodwin, 1988; Hill, Nord, & Blow 1992; Ohannessian & Hesselbrock, 1993), it is appealing to investigate the role of FH as an additional vulnerability factor [as suggested by Cooper et al. (1992)]. Moreover, the Cooper et al. (1992)

study conceptualizes gender, coping, and expectancies as moderators of stress-related drinking. Given that expectancies directly predict alcohol consumption (as discussed previously), a modified interactional model is proposed such that gender, coping, and family history play an indirect moderational role in predicting stress-related drinking; whereas expectancies play a direct mediational role as conceptualized by Figure 1 below. Figure 1. Proposed Modified Stressor Vulnerability Model of Drinking Gender STRESS Expectancies DRINKING Coping Family History Method Subjects All subjects in this study were undergraduate psychology students from a large Canadian university. The initial sample consisted of 84 volunteers. For the purpose of this study, only those subjects who drank at

least once a weak were included. A total of 65 out of 84 subjects (77.4%), aged 19 years and over, successfully met this criterion. The sample consisted of a roughly equal number of 31males (47.7%) and 34 females (52.3%), who were predominantly Caucasian (64.6%). More than three-quarters (75.4%) of the subjects were in their first year of studies, and were mostly employed part-time (60.0%). Nearly three- quarters (72.3%) of those who were employed received an annual income smaller than $ 10,000. The mean age at which subjects first consumed alcohol was 14.7, whereas the mean age at which they began to drink regularly was 17.9. Subjects total weekly consumption of alcohol averaged 11.1 drinks. Measures Measures used in the present study were embedded in a general assessment