Posttraumatic stress, alcohol use severity, and alcohol use motives among firefighters: The role of anxiety sensitivity. Academic Article uri icon


  • INTRODUCTION: Firefighters are vulnerable to developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is a cognitive-affective mechanism with clinical relevance to both PTSD and AUD. The current study examined the potential role of AS in the association of PTSD symptomatology with alcohol use severity and alcohol use motives among a large sample of firefighters. Heightened PTSD and high AS were expected to be associated with alcohol use severity and coping-oriented alcohol use motives. Heightened PTSD symptomatology was expected to be indirectly associated with alcohol use severity and coping motives through high AS. Covariates included number of years in the fire service and the number of traumatic event types endorsed. METHODS: Participants included 652 urban firefighters (93.3% male; Mage=38.7, SD=8.57). Firefighters completed an online questionnaire battery. RESULTS: PTSD symptomatology was positively associated with alcohol use and coping motives. AS was positively associated with alcohol use coping motives but not alcohol use severity. AS partially explained the association between PTSD symptomatology and coping, conformity, and social motives, but did not significantly account for the relationship between PTSD symptom severity and enhancement motives or alcohol use severity. CONCLUSIONS: Among firefighters, the association between PTSD and alcohol use coping, conformity, and social motives is partially accounted for by AS. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

published proceedings

  • Addict Behav

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Lebeaut, A., Tran, J. K., & Vujanovic, A. A.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Lebeaut, Antoine||Tran, Jana K||Vujanovic, Anka A

publication date

  • July 2020