Document Type



Media is loading

Publication Date



alcohol, alcohol consumption, alcohol use, anhedonia, college, students


Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems are frequent among college students. Impulsivity and anhedonia have important implications in the initiation, maintenance, and outcomes of alcohol use, but they have only minimally been investigated together. Further, there is a gap in the literature examining mechanisms for associations between anhedonia and impulsivity. It is possible that anhedonia may be a proximal factor for the development of impulsivity. Individuals who do not experience pleasure may be more likely to act impulsively and obtain reward in this manner. The proposed study has three overarching goals. First, it aims to determine whether individuals in a relatively healthy sample of college students experience anhedonia without the presence of other depressive symptoms. This is important, as anhedonia is largely discussed as a byproduct or symptom of an overarching disorder and is not typically an area of investigation in non-clinical samples. Second, two dimensions of impulsivity (sensation seeking and negative urgency) will be examined as potential mediators between anhedonia and alcohol and related problems via a path model. Specifically, consummatory anhedonia (i.e., the “liking” of a reward) is hypothesized to be associated with alcohol use and problems via sensation seeking, while anticipatory anhedonia (i.e., the process of “looking forward” to a reward) will be associated with alcohol use and problems via negative urgency. Depressive symptoms and gender will be covariates. Anhedonia is further divided into recreational anhedonia (i.e., deficits in pleasure to food, sex, hobbies, sensory experiences), and social anhedonia (i.e., deficits in pleasure from social situations, relationships). Third, this study aims to determine if there are facets of anhedonia that may be particularly associated with alcohol use and related problems. The proposed study will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms linking anhedonia, impulsivity, and alcohol-related outcomes and how different facets of anhedonia might uniquely impact college alcohol use.

First Advisor

Raluca Simons

Research Area