Identifying the Structure and Effect of Drinking-Related Self-Schemas

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Self-schemas have received increased attention as favorable targets for therapeutic intervention because of their central role in self-perception and behavior. The purpose of this integrative review was to identify, evaluate, and synthesize existing research pertaining to drinking-related self-schemas. Russell’s integrative review strategy guided the search. Sixteen published works were identified, meeting criteria for evaluation (n = 12 data-based publications and n = 4 models). The retrieved data-based publications rated fair-good using Polit and Beck’s criteria; the overall body of literature rated “B” using Grimes and Schulz criteria. Retrieved models rated 4 to 7 using Fitzpatrick and Whall’s criteria. The existing literature strongly supports the availability of a drinking-related self-schema among moderate-to-heavy drinking samples, and suggests a positive relationship between elaboration and drinking behavior. The relationship between valenced content of the schema and drinking behavior remains unexplored. Identifying variation in the structural properties of drinking-related self-schemas could lay the foundation for future interventions.

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