Co-Occurring Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Alcohol Use Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Drinking to Cope with PTSD Symptoms. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and hazardous drinking often co-occur. One widely acknowledged explanation for this co-occurrence is the self-medication hypothesis. However, only one study to date has explicitly examined the extent to which drinking to cope with trauma-related symptoms, rather than drinking to cope with negative affect more broadly, accounts for this association. METHOD: Survey data were collected from a nationally representative sample of adults (n=360; 48.9% female, Mage = 38.50years, SD=10.23). RESULTS: Results revealed a significant indirect effect of PTSD symptom severity on alcohol use frequency and alcohol use-related problems via drinking to cope with PTSD symptoms but not alcohol use quantity or binge drinking frequency. Drinking to cope with negative affect did not indirectly mediate the relations between PTSD symptom severity and any of the alcohol use-related outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Findings will be discussed with regard to previous and future research.

published proceedings

  • J Dual Diagn

author list (cited authors)

  • Ferrie, M. L., Lheureux, A., Vujanovic, A. A., Zvolensky, M. J., & Raines, A. M.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Ferrie, Mara L||Lheureux, Abby||Vujanovic, Anka A||Zvolensky, Michael J||Raines, Amanda M

publication date

  • October 2023