Adaptive and Maladaptive Coping Strategies in Adult Pathological Gamblers and Their Mediating Role with Anxious-Depressive Symptomatology
OBJECTIVE Protective behavioral strategies have emerged as a construct protective against alcohol use. The current study examines the theoretical associations among general coping styles, protective behavioral strategies, drinking to cope motives, and alcohol use in college students. METHOD Analyses of fully latent variables were conducted using structural equation modeling in a sample of 327 college students. RESULTS Protective behavioral strategies partially mediated the association between problem-focused coping and alcohol use. Behaviorally oriented problem-focused coping strategies accounted for the positive relationship between problem-focused coping and protective behavioral strategies whereas cognitively oriented problem-focused coping strategies were associated with less use of protective behavioral strategies and increased alcohol use. CONCLUSIONS This is the first study to find that protective behavioral strategies are more likely to be used by college students who endorse using a problem-focused coping style, especially if they tend to use behaviorally oriented problem-focused coping strategies. These findings extend the literature on protective behavioral strategies and indicate that students less likely to use problem-focused coping skills to deal with stress in general may need additional interventions to increase their use of protective behavioral strategies.