, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 2073–2081 | Cite as

Associations Between Specific Mindfulness Facets, Self-Compassion, Internally Motivated Drinking, and Alcohol-Related Problems

  • Melanie WisenerEmail author
  • Bassam Khoury



Alcohol misuse is prevalent on university campuses, and although alcohol consumption is considered a normative part of the undergraduate experience, it can become problematic when used in attempt to change one’s emotional, internal state. The present study examines associations between mindfulness facets, self-compassion, internally motivated drinking (i.e., drinking to cope with depression, with anxiety, to enhance positive emotions), and alcohol-related problems in undergraduate students.


Undergraduate student drinkers (N = 170; all women given the possibility of gender-specific pathways) completed self-report measures assessing motives to drink, alcohol-related problems, and levels of dispositional mindfulness and self-compassion.


Regression analyses revealed non-judging of inner experience and self-compassion were statistically significantly negatively associated with coping-depression (p = 0.012, p = 0.001) and coping-anxiety (p = 0.035, p = 0.012) motives, with self-compassion adding significant variation in coping-depression beyond that attributable to non-judging (p = 0.043). Acting with awareness was significantly negatively associated with alcohol-related problems (p = 0.001).


Future experimental research should investigate whether interventions and knowledge-translation activities aimed at increasing non-judging, self-compassion, and acting with awareness helps reduce internally motivated drinking and alcohol-related problems on university campuses.


Drinking to cope Drinking motives Alcohol-related problems Mindfulness Self-compassion 



MW designed the study, conducted literature searches, collected data, conducted analyses, and wrote the manuscript. BK supported the study and provided edits on the final manuscript. Both authors have approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures have been approved by the institutional research committee at McGill University and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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