Examining Differences in Emotion Dysregulation Between Emerging Adult Alcohol-only Users, Abstainers, and Simultaneous Users
Objective: Simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis is associated with more negative consequences than use of either substance alone. Research suggests that emotion dysregulation is linked to alcohol, cannabis, and polysubstance use. However, no previous research has examined whether emotion dysregulation scores differ among individuals without past month substance use (abstainers), individuals who report past-month alcohol use only (no past month cannabis or simultaneous use; alcohol-only users), and individuals who engage in past-month simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use (simultaneous users). Our aim was to examine differences in overall levels of emotion dysregulation and emotion dysregulation subscales between these groups.
Methods: The sample included 468 college students. Participants completed an online survey assessing demographics, emotion dysregulation, average number of drinks per week, days of monthly cannabis use, and simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis.
Results: A one-way ANOVA showed significant differences in emotion dysregulation between alcohol-only users, abstainers, and simultaneous users. A Bonferroni post hoc analysis revealed significant differences in emotion dysregulation for simultaneous users (p = .004) compared to alcohol-only users and abstainers. A series of ANOVAs were run to examine emotion dysregulation subscale scores and significant differences were found for impulse control difficulties (p = .003) and limited access to emotion regulation strategies (p = .005) for simultaneous users compared to alcohol-only users and abstainers, and for non-acceptance of emotional responses (p = .018) for simultaneous users compared to and alcohol-only users.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that simultaneous users have higher levels of emotion dysregulation, higher levels of impulse control difficulties, greater non-acceptance of emotions, and greater lack of access to emotion regulation strategies compared to abstainers and alcohol-only users.
Copyright (c) 2023 Katie R. Moskal, Jenni B. Teeters, Diamonde C. McCollum
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