Background: Studies indicate older adults have increased risk for alcohol-related harms (e.g., risk for falls) that can manifest at lower levels of consumption than younger adults. Specifically, age-related changes in alcohol metabolism, physiology, increased morbidity, and potential interactions with medications to manage chronic conditions increases risk for related harms among older adults. Purpose: The present study used cross-sectional data to examine the associations between drinking to cope motives and positive alcohol expectancies, and injunctive drinking norms in older adults. We also explored the interaction between drinking to cope, positive expectancies and injunctive drinking norms on alcohol use. Methods: Adults aged 65 and older (N = 98) completed a series of measures assessing drinking to cope motives, positive alcohol expectancies, injunctive drinking norms, and past-month alcohol use. Results: Positive alcohol expectancies were positively associated with drinking to cope motives. Drinking norms were not associated with coping motives. Moderating effects of expectancies varied on the link between coping motives and alcohol use. Greater endorsement of coping motives was associated with more alcohol consumption but only for those with low expectancies. Conclusions: Better understanding of the complex interplay between drinking to cope motives, positive expectancies, and injunctive drinking norms of proximal as well as distal referents could foster improvement of clinical assessments to screen for risk factors of alcohol abuse and promote development of more age-salient measures of alcohol expectancies, norms, and motives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health