Irrational Beliefs and Behavioral Misregulation in the Role of Alcohol Abuse Among College Students

Abstract

Two hundred three alcohol-using college students completed a questionnaire on their levels of alcohol use, moderate to severe problems with alcohol use, and measures of life stress, impulsivity, compulsivity, irrational beliefs, and depression. While impulsivity significantly predicted both alcohol use and problems, stress, compulsivity, irrational beliefs, and depression were found to only be significant predictors of alcohol use problems. When irrational beliefs, impulsivity, and compulsivity were combined to form an “irrational coping” scale, this construct was found in multiple regression analyses to completely mediate the effect of stress on alcohol use problems, while depression was a partial mediator of this effect. Results were interpreted in terms of Rational Emotive Behavior Theory.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

REFERENCES

  1. Anton R. F., Moak, D. H., & Latham, P. (1995). The obsessive-compulsive drinking scale: A self-rated instrument for the quantification of thoughts about alcohol and drinking behavior. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 19, 92-99.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Atkinson, M., & Violato, C. (1994). Neuroticism and coping with anger: The trans-situational consistency of coping responses. Personality and Individual Differences, 17, 769-782.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. Madison, CT: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bohn, M. J., Barton, B. A., & Barron, K. E. (1996). Psychometric properties and validity of the obsessive-compulsive drinking scale. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 20 817-823.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bordini, E. J., Tucker, J. A., Vuchinich, R. E., & Rudd, E. J. (1986). Alcohol consumption as a self-handicapping strategy in women. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 346-349.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Brandsma, J. M. (1980). Outpatient treatment of alcoholism: A review and comparative study. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Camatta, D., & Nagoshi, C. T. (1995). Stress, depression, irrational beliefs, and alcohol use and problems in a college student sample. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 19, 142-146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Chang, E. (1997). Irrational beliefs and negative life stress: testing a diathesis-stress model of depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 22, 115-117.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Colder, C. R., & Chassin, L. (1993). The stress and negative affect model of adolescent alcohol use and the moderating effects of behavioral under-control. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 54, 326-333.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Collins, R. L., Lapp, W. M., & Izzo, C. V. (1994). Affective and behavioral reactions to the violation of limits on alcohol consumption. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 55, 475-486.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Derogatis, L. R., Lipman, R. S., Rickets, K., Uhlenhuth, E. H., & Covi, L. (1974). The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL): A self-report symptom inventory. Behavioral Science, 19, 1-15

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Ellis, A. E. (1962). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Ellis, A. E., McInerney, J. F., DiGiuseeppe, R., & Yeager, R. J. (1988). Rational-emotive therapy with alcoholics and substance abusers. New York: Pergamon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Ellis, A. E. (1991). The revised ABCs of rational-emotive therapy (RET). Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 9, 139-172.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Ellis, A. E. (1995a). Thinking processes involved in irrational beliefs and their disturbed consequences. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 9, 105-116.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ellis, A. E. (1995b). Changing rational-emotive therapy (RET) to rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Journal of Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 13, 85-89.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Ellis, A. E., & Harper, R. A. (1975). A new guide to rational living. Hollywood, CA: Melvin Powers Wilshire Book Company.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ellis, A., & Velten, E. (1992). When AA doesn't work: Rational steps for quitting alcohol. New York: Barricade Books.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Ellis, L. (1987). Relationships of criminality and psychopathy with eight apparent behavioral manifestations of sub-optimal arousal. Personality and Individual Differences, 8, 905-925.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Emmelkamp, P. M., & Beens, H. (1991). Cognitive therapy with obsessive-compulsive disorder: A comparative evaluation. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 29, 293-300.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Eysenck, S. G., Eysenck, H. J., & Barrett, P. (1985). A revised version of the psychoticism scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 6, 21-29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Haaga, D. A., & Davinson, G. C. (1989). Slow progress in rational-emotive therapy outcome research: Etiology and treatment. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 13, 493-508.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Hart, K. E., Turner, S. H., Hittner, J. B., Cardozo, S. R., & Paras, K. C. (1991). Life stress and anger: Moderating effects of type A irrational beliefs. Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 557-560.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Hoehn-Saric, R., & Barksdale, V. C. (1983). Impulsiveness in obsessive-compulsive patients. British Journal of Psychiatry, 143, 177-182.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Lazarus, R. S. (1977). Cognitive and coping process in emotion. In A. Monat & R. S. Lazarus (Eds.), Stress and coping: An anthology, pp. (145-158). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Lazarus, R. S. (1993). Coping theory and research: Past, present, and future. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55, 234-247.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. McGovern, T. E., & Silverman, M. S. (1984). A review of outcome studies of rational-emotive therapy from 1977–1982. Journal of Rational-Emotive Therapy, 2, 7-18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Mischel, W., & Yuichi, S. (1995). A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: Reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure. Psychological Review, 102, 246-268.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Nagoshi, C. T., Wilson, J. R., & Lawrence, A. R. (1991). Impulsivity, sensation seeking, and behavioral and emotional responses to alcohol. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 15, 661-667.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Nagoshi, C. T., Wood, M. D., Cote, C. C., & Abbit, S. M. (1994). College drinking game participation within the context of other predictors of alcohol use and problems. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 8, 203-213.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Ray, J. B., Freidlander, R. B., & Solomon, G. S. (1984). Changes in rational beliefs among treated alcoholics. Psychological Reports, 55, 883-886.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Rhea, S. A., Nagoshi, C. T., & Wilson, J. R. (1993). Reliability of sibling reports on parental drinking behaviors. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 54, 80-84.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Rohsenow, D. J., Monti, P. M., Zwick, W. R., Nirenberg, T. D., Liepman, M. R., Binkoff, J. A., & Abrams, D. B. (1989). Irrational beliefs, urges to drink and drinking among alcoholics. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 50, 461-464.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Rosenberg, H., & Brian, T. (1986). Cognitive-behavioral group therapy for multiple-DUI offenders. Special issue: Drunk driving in America: Strategies and approaches to treatment. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 3, 47-65.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Sanavio, E. (1988). Obsessions and compulsions: The Padua inventory. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 26, 169-177.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Sayette, M. A. (1993). An appraisal-disruption model of alcohol's effects on stress responses in social drinkers. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 459-476.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. Stein, D. J., & Hollander, E. R. (1993). Impulsive aggression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatric Annals, 23, 389-395.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Stein, D. J., Hollander, E. R., Simeon, D., & Cohen, L. (1994). Brief reports: Impulsivity scores in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 182, 240-241.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. Tanaka-Matsumi, J., & Kameoka, V. A. (1986). Reliabilities and concurrent validities of popular self-report measures of depression, anxiety, and social desirability. Journal of Counseling & Clinical Psychology, 54, 328-333.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Thorpe, G. L., & Frey, R. B. (1996). A short form of the Common Beliefs Survey III. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 14, 193-198.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Tucker, J. A., Vuchinich, R. E., Sobell, M. B., & Maisto, S.A. (1980). Normal drinkers' alcohol consumption as a function of conflicting motives induced by intellectual performance stress. Addictive Behaviors, 5, 171-178.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  43. Webb, G. R., Redman, S., Hennrikus, D., Rostas, J. A. P., & Sanson-Fisher, R. (1990). The prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of high-risk and problem drinking at an industrial worksite. British Journal of Addiction, 85, 495-507.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Wood, M. D., Nagoshi, C. T., & Dennis, D. A. (1992). Alcohol norms and expectations as predictors of alcohol use and problems in a college student sample. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 18, 461-476.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Yeager, R. J., DiGiuseppe, R., Olsen, J. T., Lewis, L., et al. (1988). Rational-emotive therapy in the therapeutic community. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 6, 211-235.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Zautra, A. J., Guarnaccia, C. A., & Dohrenwend, B. P. (1986). Measuring small life events. American Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 629-655.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  47. Zung, W. K. (1965). A self-rating depression scale. Archives of General Psychiatry, 12, 63-70.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hutchinson, G.T., Patock-Peckham, J.A., Cheong, J. et al. Irrational Beliefs and Behavioral Misregulation in the Role of Alcohol Abuse Among College Students. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 16, 61–74 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024950407778

Download citation

Keywords

  • Alcohol Problem
  • Irrational Belief
  • Alpha Reliability
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
  • Impulse Control Disorder