The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office. This work was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the USAMRMC Broad Agency Announcement under Award No. W81XWH-13-2-0020. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense. Portions of this research were supported by the Grant # T03OH008435 awarded to Portland State University, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Substance Use & Misuse
Soldiers -- Mental health, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Soldiers -- Drinking of alcoholic beverages, Social networks
Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and problematic alcohol use commonly co-occur among military service members. It remains critical to understand why these patterns emerge, and under what conditions. Objectives: This study examined whether PTSD symptoms (PTSS) and alcohol involvement (quantity and frequency of use, heavy episodic drinking, and alcohol problems) are indirectly related through four distinct drinking motivations. A secondary aim was to identify factors, specifically forms of social support, which buffer these associations. Methods: Using baseline data from a randomized-controlled trial of health and well-being among civilian-employed separated service members and reservists, the present study examined these issues using a subsample of 398 current drinkers. Results: Parallel mediation models revealed PTSS–alcohol consumption associations were indirect through coping and enhancement motivations. PTSS was only related to alcohol problems through coping motivations. In addition, the indirect effect of PTSS on average level of consumption via coping motives was conditional on perceived support from friends and family, whereas the indirect effect for alcohol problems was conditional only on friend support. In contrast, the indirect effects of PTSS on alcohol consumption variables (but not problems) via enhancement motives were conditional on perceived support from friends and family. Conclusions/Importance: Future research and screening efforts should attend to individual motivations for drinking as important factors related to alcohol use and problems among service members experiencing PTSS, and emphasize the importance of communication, trust, and effective supports among military and nonmilitary friends and family.
Locate the Document
McCabe, C. T., Mohr, C. D., Hammer, L. B., & Carlson, K. F. (2019). PTSD Symptomology and Motivated Alcohol Use Among Military Service Members: Testing a Conditional Indirect Effect Model of Social Support. Substance Use & Misuse, 54(2), 257–270.