Reasons for Drinking Alcohol: Relationships With DSM–IV Alcohol Diagnoses and Alcohol Consumption in a Community Sample

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The relationship between self-reported reasons for drinking and the DSM–IV alcohol use disorders and alcohol consumption was examined. Participants were 777 heavy drinking community residents (424 men and 353 women) who completed the Alcohol Use Disorders and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule (B. F. Grant & D. Hasin, 1992) and a self-report assessment battery. Drinking to reduce negative affect was greater among drinkers with a current DSM–IV alcohol dependence diagnosis compared with drinkers with no DSM–IV alcohol use disorder. The DSM–IV alcohol abuse and the no-diagnosis groups did not differ in reasons for drinking. A positive association was demonstrated between drinking to reduce negative affect and frequency of intoxication. Drinking for enjoyment was positively associated with the frequency of binge drinking, frequency of intoxication, and average daily ethanol consumption. However, the relationship between drinking for enjoyment and average daily ethanol consumption was stronger among those with no alcohol disorder compared to those with DSM–IV alcohol dependence.

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