Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jeffrey S Simons


This study sought to elucidate the role of affective dependence (i.e., PA-NA correlation) as a predictor of goal pursuit and alcohol-related problems at the within- and between-person levels and trait urgency at the between-person level. Affective dependence, that is, the extent to which PA and NA are correlated, may be a marker for self-regulation on the one hand (weaker dependence) and impulsivity on the other (stronger dependence). Importantly, the association between PA and NA varies both within and between individuals (Dejonckheere et al., 2019; Zautra et al., 2001). I designed and implemented an intensive longitudinal study to test hypotheses that affective dependence would be positively associated with alcohol problems and inversely associated with goal pursuit at both the within- and between-person levels. In addition, I hypothesized trait affective dependence would be positively associated with trait urgency. Participants were 100 college students aged 18-25 years, who drank alcohol at least moderately. Participants answered up to 11 assessments per day for 21 days regarding affect, academic goal pursuit, idiographic goal pursuit, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems. Multilevel time series models were estimated. Consistent with hypotheses, affective dependence predicted more alcohol-related problems and decreased academic goal pursuit at the within-person level. Importantly, effects on academic goal pursuit included perceived achievement and progress related to academics, as well as time spent studying, an objective marker for academic engagement. Effects were significant controlling for autoregressive effects, lagged residuals of PA and NA, concurrent alcohol use, day of the week, age, gender, and trait affective dependence. Thus, this study provides robust tests of lagged within-person effects of affective dependence. The effect of affective dependence on idiographic goal pursuit was not significant, contrary to hypothesis. At the between-person level, affective dependence was positively associated with negative urgency. Affective dependence was not significantly associated with alcohol problems or goal pursuit at the between-person level. Results suggest that affective dependence is a common factor explaining problems related to alcohol use and psychological functioning more broadly.

Subject Categories



goal pursuit, alcohol-related problems

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota

Included in

Psychology Commons