The objective of this study was to examine the relation between affects linked to avoidance/withstanding options and distress tolerance in heavy drinkers. It has been suggested that the expected rewards of taking withstanding options and the expected punishments of taking avoidance options could have an influence on judgment regarding withstanding ongoing distress. However, there are no studies that have tested this hypothesis. Thus, we measured the affects linked to each option and examined their relations with distress tolerance based on the theoretical/empirical evidence that proves that affects reflect the expected rewards and punishments of certain options. We hypothesized that affects linked to avoidance/withstanding options are closely related to distress tolerance in heavy drinkers.
Forty heavy drinkers completed a self-report measure that assessed the affective associations of options and took a behavioral task indexing distress tolerance.
Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that affects linked to avoidance/withstanding options are closely associated with distress tolerance, even after controlling for negative emotional experiences and alcohol use problems.
Our findings indicate that affects linked to avoidance/withstanding options may have an important influence on distress tolerance and therefore deserve further explorations.