The Effects of Stress, Alcohol Outcome Expectancies, Gender, Coping St

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The Effects of Stress, Alcohol Outcome Expectancies, Gender, Coping Styles, and
Family Alcoholism on Alcohol Consumption

Research Proposal by Josh Robbins 100-928-594 November 26, 1996 Economics 143


One large component of American popular culture today is alcohol. A common stereotype for the effects of alcohol is that as a drug it acts as a stress antagonist. This theory was introduced by Conger (1956) as the Tension
Reduction Hypothesis (TRW). It states that alcohol's sedative action on the central nervous system serves to reduce tension, and because tension reduction is reinforcing, people drink to escape it (Marlatt & Rehsenow, 1980). Why do we drink, when do we drink, and how
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The answers are based on a five point scale with 1 = disagree and 5 = agree.

3. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) The PSS (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983) is a 14 item self-report designed to assess the degress to which situations in one's life are appraised as stressful. There are 7 positive and 7 negative questions.

4. COPE The COPE (Carver et al., 1989) has 53 questions and is designed to assess individual coping dispositions. This test is quite complicated, as it is made up of 14 scales which are categorized into 3 coping styles: Problem-Focused
Coping, Emotion-Focused Coping, and Less than Useful Coping (Denial, Behavioral
Disengagement, and Mental Disengagement). The main result we will be looking at is a section called "Drinking to Cope". This will help us find out whether people drink to cope and if so, in what situations.


The regression equation for this research will be as follows: WEEKi = b0
+ b1(GENDER)i + b2(STRESS)i + b3(EXPECT)i + b4(FAMILY)i + b5(COPE)i

The expected signs of the coefficients are as follows: b1: This is a dummy variable, with only 2 possible values, 0=female and
b2: Positive. Increased stress leads to increased drinking; b3: Both. It will probably be positive with expectancy variables like
Tension Reduction, liquid-Courage

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