A Daily Diary Validity Test of Drinking to Cope Measures

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Data from 2 daily diary studies of stress, negative affect, and drinking were used to examine the correspondence between global self-reports of drinking to cope (DTC) and within-person stress/negative affect–drinking associations. In Study 1, 83 community-residing drinkers recorded data in nightly booklets on negative events, perceived stress, negative affect, and drinking for 60 consecutive days. In Study 2, 88 community-residing drinkers recorded data on negative events and negative interpersonal exchanges nightly and negative affect and drinking in near-real time on palmtop computers for 30 consecutive days. Both studies showed only modest correspondence between self-reported DTC and between-person differences in within-day, daily, and weekly associations between stress/negative affect and drinking. The findings indicate that individuals who report higher DTC simply may drink across a wider variety of conditions than those who report relatively lower DTC.

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