Psychology ETDs


Corey Roos

Publication Date



Gaining a better understanding of mechanisms that underlie change in alcohol use behaviors is essential for designing more effective treatments for alcohol use disorders (AUDs; Longabaugh & Magill, 2011). One potentially important mechanism of change is the acquisition of alcohol-specific coping skills, defined as behaviors directly aimed at preventing one from drinking. It is unclear whether having a broad repertoire of distinct coping skills is an important factor in changing ones alcohol use. An emerging body of literature suggests that having a broad repertoire of coping skills is vital to promoting psychological well-being and may enable individuals to flexibly implement a diverse range of skills that are situationally appropriate (Bonnano & Burton, 2013). However, among individuals with AUDs there is limited research on coping repertoire, defined as the frequency in which one is able to use a variety of coping skills. Therefore, the present study examined the role of coping repertoire in changing alcohol use among 1,383 individuals who received treatment for AUDs as part of the COMBINE study (COMBINE Study Research Group, 2008). We used latent class analysis (LCA) to empirically classify individuals into distinct coping repertoire groups based on their patterns of coping, as measured by the alcohol version of the Processes of Change Questionnaire (PCQ; Prochaska, Velicer, DiClemente, & Fava, 1988). We hypothesized that LCA would reveal a class of individuals who exhibit a broad coping repertoire, indicated by a pattern of frequently using numerous different coping skills, and that this group would have significantly better alcohol-related outcomes than classes with narrower coping repertoires. Using LCA, we identified 3 latent classes: a broad repertoire class (36.1 % of the sample), characterized by primarily high utilization across all coping skills, a moderate repertoire class (42.4 % of the sample), characterized by primarily moderate utilization across all coping skills, and a narrow repertoire class (21.6 % of the sample), characterized by primarily low utilization across all coping skills. As predicted, the broad repertoire class had the best alcohol-related outcomes (i.e., drinking frequency, intensity, and alcohol-related consequences) at end-of-treatment and the week 26 follow-up, whereas the moderate and narrow repertoire classes had poorer outcomes. These findings are consistent with findings from the small number of studies on coping repertoire among individuals with AUDs (Litman et al., 1979; Moser & Annis, 1996) and demonstrate that having a broad coping repertoire may be an important factor that mobilizes change in alcohol use behaviors. Accordingly, further empirical research is warranted in order to gain a better understanding of the role of coping repertoire in facilitating behavior change among individuals with AUDs.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

McCrady, Barbara

Second Committee Member

Vowles, Kevin




Coping, Alcohol Use Disorder, Coping Repertoire

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