Alcohol Use Severity, Anger and Drinking Motives among Firefighters. Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Firefighters represent an understudied population with high rates of hazardous alcohol use and alcohol use disorder. This population is also at an increased risk of mental health disorders and related symptoms such as anger. Anger is a relatively understudied negative mood state with clinical relevance to alcohol use among firefighters. Anger is associated with greater alcohol use and may spur more approach-motivated reasons for drinking compared to other negative emotions. Objectives: This study sought to examine: 1. whether anger significantly contributes to alcohol use severity in firefighters above and beyond general negative mood; 2. which of four validated drinking motives (e.g., coping, social, enhancement and conformity) act as moderators in the relationship between anger and alcohol use severity in this population. The current study is a secondary analysis of data from a larger study examining health and stress behaviors among firefighters (N=679) at a large urban fire department in the southern United States. Results: Results revealed that anger was positively associated with alcohol use severity, even after controlling for general negative mood. Further, social and enhancement motives for drinking were significant moderators of the relationship between anger and alcohol use severity. Conclusions: These findings identify anger specifically as an important factor to be considered when assessing alcohol use in firefighters, especially those who are drinking to make social experiences more enjoyable or to enhance their mood. These findings can be used to inform more specialized interventions for alcohol use by targeting anger more specifically in firefighters and other male-dominated first-responder populations.

published proceedings

  • Subst Use Misuse

author list (cited authors)

  • Miloslavich, K., Leonard, S. J., Wardle, M. C., & Vujanovic, A. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Miloslavich, Krista||Leonard, Samuel J||Wardle, Margaret C||Vujanovic, Anka A

publication date

  • April 2023