Classifying people with alcohol use disorder into homogenous groups based on observed characteristics (i.e., phenotypes) could match individuals to specific treatments. The reward-relief phenotype classifies individuals based on whether they drink to enhance rewarding experiences and/or to relieve negative states. The current study is a secondary data analysis of a community sample of non-treatment seeking heavy drinkers (n = 189) and two randomized clinical trial samples of individuals with alcohol use disorder (n = 1726, 1383) that aimed to determine if the reward-relief phenotype is identified across samples, is stable over time, and predicts long-term alcohol consumption and consequences. We found the four-profile reward-relief phenotype replicated, and the baseline phenotype predicted drinking outcomes in all samples. However, only in the non-treatment-seeking sample was the phenotype stable over time. Though further research is warranted, there is evidence that group membership by the reward-relief drinking phenotype could predict drinking outcomes over time.
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First Committee Member (Chair)
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alcohol use disorder, reward drinking, relief drinking
Swan, Julia E.. "Relief and Reward Drinking Across Time in Community and Treatment-Seeking Samples." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/psy_etds/345