Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2023


Protective behavioral strategies (PBS), behaviors individuals use to reduce negative consequences of substance use, have been shown to mediate and moderate the relationship between mental health and substance use outcomes. The present study aimed to examine the relationships between anxiety and depression symptoms and opioid PBS on risky opioid use and opioid-related consequences. Participants in this secondary data analysis were non-treatment seeking individuals who reported past-month opioid use (n=257). Structural equation modeling was used to examine 1) PBS as a mediator of the relationship between anxiety/depression symptoms and opioid use outcomes, and 2) anxiety/depression symptoms as a moderator of the relationship between PBS and opioid use outcomes. Despite significant correlations among many of the variables of interest, no statistically significant mediation or interaction effects were found. Given the statistically null findings, various methodological considerations are discussed, as well as future directions for this underexplored area of research.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Margo Hurlocker, PhD

Second Committee Member

Katie Witkiewitz, PhD

Third Committee Member

Angelo DiBello, PhD



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Included in

Psychology Commons