Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2022

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Raluca M Simons

Abstract

This study tested a path model to explore whether different types of anhedonia are associated with alcohol use and problems via different types of impulsivity in 640 college students (ages 18-25). This study parsed anhedonia into four specific facets: consummatory and anticipatory anhedonia, and “recreational” and social anhedonia. Consummatory anhedonia (i.e., the “liking” of a reward) was hypothesized to be associated with alcohol use and problems via sensation seeking, a component of impulsivity where individuals tend to seek out rewarding, yet sometimes risky stimuli. Further, anticipatory anhedonia (i.e., the process of “looking forward to” or “wanting” a reward) was hypothesized to be associated with alcohol use and problems via negative urgency, a component of impulsivity where individuals act rashly under conditions of negative affect. Both consummatory and anticipatory anhedonia were further divided into “recreational” anhedonia (e.g., deficits in pleasure from food, hobbies/pastimes, sensory experiences), and social anhedonia (e.g., deficits in pleasure from social situations, relationships). Recreational consummatory anhedonia was negatively associated with alcohol use and alcohol related problems through negative urgency, suggesting that individuals higher in this type of anhedonia are less likely to use alcohol when distressed, and may not use it to ameliorate negative affect. Recreational consummatory anhedonia also had significant negative associations with alcohol consumption via sensation seeking, indicating that these individuals are less likely to seek out alcohol as a reward. Further, social anticipatory anhedonia was positively associated with alcohol use and related problems via negative urgency, suggesting that individuals may drink to ameliorate negative affect related to social situations. This study highlights important associations between anhedonia, impulsivity, and alcohol use and related problems.

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology

Keywords

Alcohol Use, Anhedonia, College, Impulsivity

Number of Pages

92

Publisher

University of South Dakota

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