Testing daily associations between impulsivity, affect, and alcohol outcomes: a pilot study

Amy L. Stamates, Ashley N. Linden-Carmichael, Peter D. Preonas, Cathy Lau-Barraco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Considerable research has examined impulsivity between individuals, but less research has focused on whether impulsivity fluctuates within a person. Although previous research supports trait levels of impulsivity as a risk factor for increased alcohol involvement, it is unclear whether daily (i.e., state) fluctuations in impulsivity coincide with same-day drinking behaviors. The present pilot study tested (1) the extent to which impulsivity fluctuates within-person; (2) the influence of daily impulsivity on alcohol use outcomes across all days (i.e., whether drinking occurred, the number of drinks consumed, and intentions to drink) and on drinking days only (i.e., whether heavy episodic drinking occurred and the number of problems experienced); and (3) daily affect as moderators of these relationships. Method: Participants were 24 young adult drinkers without postsecondary education who completed a baseline plus 14 follow-up daily surveys. Each day, participants reported their impulsivity, affect, and drinking behavior. Results: Multilevel modeling revealed that 42.5% of the variability in daily impulsivity was due to within-person differences. Impulsivity was related to greater odds of heavy episodic drinking and more alcohol-related problems on drinking days. Positive affect moderated the relationship between impulsivity and alcohol-related problems, and the relationship between impulsivity and drinking intentions. Conclusions: Findings suggest that changes in positive affect and impulsivity may be a risk factor for alcohol problems in a daily context. Future research examining within-person impulsivity and negative outcomes may benefit from considering positive affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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