Mechanisms of Behavior Change During Alcohol Treatment Among Negative Affect Drinkers: A Time-Varying Effect Model Analysis Using 84 Consecutive Days of Ecological Momentary Assessment

Junru Zhao, Braden K. Linn, Paul R. Stasiewicz, Gregory E. Wilding, Charles LaBarre, Clara M. Bradizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To better understand the timing and unique contribution of four potential mechanisms of behavior change (MOBC) during alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment (negative affect, positive affect, alcohol craving, and adaptive alcohol coping), we used a time-varying effect modeling analytic approach to examine the change trajectories of alcohol abstinence, heavy drinking, the hypothesized MOBCs, and the time-varying associations between the MOBCs and alcohol outcomes. Method: Participants (N = 181; Mage = 50.8 years, SD = 10.6; 51% women; 93.5% Caucasian) were enrolled in a 12-week randomized clinical trial of cognitive behavioral outpatient treatment program for AUD. For 84 consecutive days, participants provided self-reports of positive and negative affect, craving, alcohol use, and adaptive alcohol coping strategies employed. Results: Throughout the 84-day treatment window, higher daily average craving levels were associated with both decreased likelihood of alcohol abstinence and increased odds of heavy drinking, whereas higher adaptive alcohol coping was associated with increased odds of abstinence and decreased odds of heavy drinking. Higher negative affect was associated with decreased odds of abstinence in the first 10 days of treatment and increased odds of heavy drinking before Day 4 or Day 5. Higher positive affect was associated with decreased odds of heavy drinking during the first 4 or 5 days. Conclusions: The differential time-varying associations between negative affect, positive affect, alcohol craving, adaptive alcohol coping, and alcohol use provide insights into how and when each of the MOBCs is active during AUD treatment. These findings can help optimize the efficacy of future AUD treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 18 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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