Craving mediates the association between attentional bias to alcohol and in vivo alcoholic beverage consumption in young social drinkers

Chris Cahill, Melanie White, Colin MacLeod, Ben Grafton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Franken’s attentional bias hypothesis proposes that attentional bias to alcohol (ABA) activates craving, which motivates alcohol consumption behavior. While this hypothesis was put forward to account for alcohol dependence, the present study tested whether Franken’s model may potentially contribute to explaining variation in beer consumption among young social drinkers. Method: ABA was measured by presenting participants with dual videos, one showing alcoholic beverages and the other non-alcoholic beverages, and assessing relative attention to each using a visual probe procedure. Self-reported alcohol craving was assessed four times over the session. In vivo alcoholic beverage consumption was assessed by the remaining weight of alcohol bottle following consumption, measured at conclusion of the experiment. Results: The study revealed that ABA positively predicted alcohol craving (p < .01) and in vivo beer consumption (p < .01). The relationship between ABA and beer consumption was fully mediated by craving (β = .63, 95% CI [.04, 1.29]). Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that the relationship between ABA and in vivo alcoholic beverage consumption is fully mediated by alcohol craving. Future research can extend understanding of the causal relationship between ABA, craving, and consumption, by determining whether direct modification of ABA influences alcohol consumption by altering craving. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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