Alcohol abusers' and social drinkers' responses to alcohol-relevant and general situations

D. B. Abrams, J. A. Binkoff, W. R. Zwick, M. R. Liepman, T. D. Nirenberg, S. M. Munroe, P. M. Monti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Responses of alcohol abusers and social drinkers were compared on general and alcohol-specific problem situations using role-play methodology. Multiple responses were assessed including behavioral observational ratings, self-reports and psychophysiologic measures. There were few differences between groups in responses to the general situations. Alcohol abusers had higher urges to drink than did the social drinkers in both the general and the alcohol-specific situations. However, in response to the alcohol-specific situations, the alcohol abusers, compared to the social drinkers, were rated by judges as significantly less skillful, and they displayed more self-reported anxiety, had a higher frequency of occurrence of problem situations in the natural environment and reported greater perceived realism of the alcohol-specific situations. Psychophysiologic measures did not differentiate between the groups. Results are discussed with respect to the importance of situation specificity in understanding the precipitants of drinking and their treatment implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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