The Sequential Indirect Effect of Negative Urgency on Drinking Consequences Through Distress Intolerance and Drinking Motives: Initial Examination in College Students Reporting Past Month Alcohol Use

  • Min-Jeong YangEmail author
  • Allison Borges
  • Teresa M. Leyro
Brief Report


Identification of cognitive and affective vulnerabilities among college drinkers may aid in developing focused interventions that promote a reduction in the prevalence of alcohol use. Negative urgency (NU) and distress intolerance (DI) evidence concurrent, unique, and synergistic relations with drinking motives and negative consequences of alcohol use. Utilizing a sequential multiple mediation framework to investigate a comprehensive model of these variables, we examined NU as a behavioral risk factor that potentiates the development of DI, thereby contributing to drinking motives that increase the risk of problematic use in young adults. A diverse sample of undergraduate students (N = 616; Mage = 19.1, SD = 1.4, range = 18–25; 50.6% female; 60.6% Caucasian; recruited between September 2015 and Spring 2017) reporting past month alcohol use completed an online questionnaire battery. The results suggested that NU may contribute to negative alcohol use outcomes via its relation to DI and the motivation to drink in order to cope with negative emotional states and conform to social pressure. These findings suggest that NU may be a primary intervention target in young adults.


Distress intolerance Negative urgency Alcohol Coping motives Conformity motives 



This work was funded by a pre-doctoral National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (F31-DA043934) awarded to the second author.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min-Jeong Yang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allison Borges
    • 1
  • Teresa M. Leyro
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers, Department of PsychologyThe State University of New JerseyPiscatawayUSA

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