Daily mood-drinking slopes as predictors: a new take on drinking motives and related outcomes

Cynthia D. Mohr, Debi Brannan, Staci Wendt, Laurie Jacobs, Robert Wright, Mo Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Motivational models of alcohol consumption have articulated the manner in which positive and negative experiences motivate drinking in unique social contexts (e.g., M. L. Cooper, M. R. Frone, M. Russell & P. Mudar, 1995, Drinking to regulate positive and negative emotions: A motivational model of alcohol use, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 69, pp. 990-1005). Daily process methodology, in which daily events, moods, and drinking behaviors are reported daily or multiple times per day, has been used to examine behavioral patterns that are consistent with discrete motivations. We advance the notion that repeated patterns of drinking in various social contexts as a function of positive or negative mood increases can provide evidence of individual-level if-then drinking signatures, which in turn can predict drinking-related outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of slopes to predict longer term drinking motivations and alcohol problems by employing a daily-process study of nonclinical moderate alcohol drinkers (N = 47; 49% women). Participants responded to thrice daily interviews administered via handheld computer for 30 days, followed by a longitudinal telephone survey for 12 months. Participants' daily mood-drinking relationships were extracted from hierarchical linear modeling and employed as predictors of 12-month outcomes in multiple regression analyses. Daily mood-drinking patterns demonstrated significant variability across persons, such that moderate drinkers could be reliably differentiated based on those patterns in terms of distinct drinking-related outcomes. Among the results, negative-mood-solitary-drinking slopes were associated with lower subsequent coping motives but positive-mood-solitary-drinking slopes were predictive of higher coping and lower social motives. Conversely, positive-mood-social-drinking associations were predictive of higher enhancement motives and brief Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test scores. Results are interpreted in light of motivational models of consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-955
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • coping motives
  • Daily process methodology
  • drinking motives
  • moderate drinking
  • mood-drinking slopes
  • slopes as predictors

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