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Deficits in Access to Reward Are Associated with College Student Alcohol Use Disorder.

Title: Deficits in Access to Reward Are Associated with College Student Alcohol Use Disorder.
Name(s): Joyner, Keanan J, author
Pickover, Alison M, author
Soltis, Kathryn E, author
Dennhardt, Ashley A, author
Martens, Matthew P, author
Murphy, James G, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-12-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Reward deprivation has been implicated in major depressive disorder and severe substance abuse, but its potential relation to alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms in non-treatment-seeking young adult drinkers is less clear. Depression is often comorbid with alcohol misuse, so relations of AUD with reward deprivation might be due in part to the presence of depressive symptoms in young adults. Behavioral economic theory views addiction as a state that is related in part to deficits in drug-free rewards, and therefore requires an investigation into whether reward deprivation has a direct relation to alcohol misuse that is, at least partially, independent of mood. This study evaluates the contribution of 2 facets of reward deprivation (reward availability and experience) to alcohol use, AUD symptoms, and depression in a sample of young adult heavy episodic drinkers. Data were collected from 392 undergraduates (60.4% female, 85.1% Caucasian) who reported recent heavy drinking (83.7% with at least 1 AUD symptom). Low reward availability (environmental suppression) was significantly associated with both DSM-5 AUD symptoms and alcohol-related problems after controlling for age, gender, depressive symptomatology, and drinking level. This study provides support for behavioral economic models that emphasize reward deprivation as a unique risk factor for AUD that is independent of mood and drinking level. Limited access to natural rewards may be a risk and/or maintaining factor for AUD symptoms in college student drinkers.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_27805267 (IID), 10.1111/acer.13255 (DOI), PMC5133164 (PMCID), 27805267 (RID), 27805267 (EID)
Keywords: Alcohol Use Disorder, Alternative Reinforcers, College, Reward, Young Adult Drinking
Grant Number: R01 AA020829
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Adolescent
Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology
Alcohol-Related Disorders/complications
Alcohol-Related Disorders/psychology
Economics, Behavioral
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research.
Issue: iss. 12, vol. 40

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Joyner, K. J., Pickover, A. M., Soltis, K. E., Dennhardt, A. A., Martens, M. P., & Murphy, J. G. (2016). Deficits in Access to Reward Are Associated with College Student Alcohol Use Disorder. Alcoholism, Clinical And Experimental Research. Retrieved from