Trait self-control predicts drinking patterns during treatment for alcohol use disorder and recovery up to three years following treatment.

Research paper by Elena E Stein, Katie K Witkiewitz

Indexed on: 22 Aug '19Published on: 21 Aug '19Published in: Addictive Behaviors


To more fully understand recovery from alcohol use disorder, we must consider several ways in which reductions in drinking and improvements in psychosocial functioning may occur. Previous research has demonstrated various patterns of drinking and functioning during and after behavioral treatment for alcohol use disorder, including groups of individuals who consume alcohol at low-risk levels and those that report occasional heavy drinking yet good psychosocial functioning. This study aimed to identify whether trait self-control, which has previously been associated with alcohol treatment outcomes, was a predictor of drinking patterns during treatment as well as three years following treatment. Latent variable mixture modeling was used to identify seven classes of drinking patterns during treatment and four profiles of drinking and psychosocial function after treatment. We found that membership in the low-risk drinking class was predicted by greater trait self-control than several of the other classes, including the consistent abstinence class. Furthermore, we found that greater trait self-control predicted membership in two high-functioning recovery profiles at three years following treatment, including a high functioning occasional heavy drinking profile. These findings suggest that self-control is an important predictor of recovery, particularly for a non-abstinent recovery. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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