The role of stress-reactivity, stress-recovery and risky decision-making in psychosocial stress-induced alcohol consumption in social drinkers

We are pleased to announce that findings from a study carried out this year during James’ masters (MRes) have been accepted for publication in Psychopharmacology. Here, we aimed to extend our previous work where we found links between risk-taking and craving in social drinkers to investigate the effects of personality and stress on actual drinking. Using a laboratory based stressor we tested the hypothesis that in a sample  of social  drinkers, people with greater levels of impulsivity would consume more alcohol following psychosocial stress.


Key Findings:


We replicated our previous work and found acute psychosocial stress increases craving for alcohol in social drinkers.

Suprisingly, an increase in craving did not predict and increase in consumption.


Instead we found risky decision making, slow heart rate recovery from stress, poor vagal tone during recovery from stress and greater stress reactivity to be imporant predictors of drinking


Available Online