Affective risk for problem drinking: Reciprocal influences among negative urgency, affective lability, and rumination

Emily A. Atkinson, Anna Marie L. Ortiz, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Affective disturbances have long been implicated in the onset and maintenance of problematic alcohol use. Affective risk theory for problem drinking has moved beyond early documentation that negative affect broadly confers risk to models specifying specific affect-based risk processes. Objective: This paper provides a theory-driven review of recent literature on the role of affect-based factors in the etiology of problematic alcohol use. First, we review recent advances in the understanding of affect-based risk for problem drinking. Second, we highlight the importance of three specific affect-based risk factors: urgency, affective lability, and rumination. Third, we offer hy-potheses regarding the reciprocal relationships between specific risk factors and drinking problems. Finally, we suggest possible avenues for future research. Conclusion: Recent advances in the understanding of reciprocal prediction between affect-based risk factors and problem drinking have set the stage for important new avenues of investigation into the risk process. Affect-based risk processes appear to influence each otherover time, and they influence and are influenced by problem drinking. Further understanding of these processes will pave the way for a new generation of intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Drug Research Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Affect
  • Alcoholism
  • Emotion
  • Personality
  • Problem drinking
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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