Impacts of childhood adversity forms and drinker self-schema on undergraduate drinking behaviors and depression

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Abstract

Purpose: Drinking behaviors and depression are common and highly correlated behaviors in undergraduates. Child adversity and drinker self-schemas have been recognized as significant risk factors of drinking behaviors and depression. However, how the various child adversity forms differentially influence the formation of drinker self-schema and behaviors is underexplored. We aimed to determine whether drinker self-schema serves as a mechanism underlying the influence of child adversity forms on drinking frequency, drinking problems, and depressive symptoms. Methods: A cross-sectional, correlational study design with an anonymous, internet-based survey was conducted. Participants were 330 first- and second-year undergraduates enrolled in a four-year college/university as full-time students in Taiwan. Path analysis was performed to examine the direct and indirect effects (through drinker self-schema) of child adversity forms on drinking frequency, drinking problems, and depressive symptoms. Gender and friend's alcohol use were the covariates. Results: Psychological abuse, psychological neglect, physical neglect, and household substance use were associated with drinker self-schema, which was associated with drinking frequency, drinking problems, and depressive symptoms. Physical abuse was associated with drinking frequency. Household substance use and parent(s) treated violently were associated with drinking problems. Psychological neglect and household mental illness were associated with depressive symptoms. Moreover, psychological abuse and psychological neglect had indirect effects on drinking frequency and drinking problems through drinker self-schema. Conclusions: Different forms of childhood adversity are differently associated with drinker self-schema, drinking behaviors, and depression. Drinker self-schema serves as an underlying mechanism linking psychological maltreatments to drinking behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106756
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume114
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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