Alcohol consumption in young adults: the role of multisensory imagery.
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Little is known about the subjective experience of alcohol desire and craving in young people. Descriptions of alcohol urges continue to be extensively used in the everyday lexicon of young, non-dependent drinkers. Elaborated Intrusion (EI) Theory contends that imagery is central to craving and desires, and predicts that alcohol-related imagery will be associated with greater frequency and amount of drinking. This study involved 1,535 age stratified 18- 25 year olds who completed an alcohol–related survey that included the Imagery scale of the Alcohol Craving Experience (ACE) questionnaire. Imagery items predicted 12-16% of the variance in concurrent alcohol consumption. Higher total Imagery subscale scores were linearly associated with greater drinking frequency and lower self-efficacy for moderate drinking. Interference with alcohol imagery may have promise as a preventive or early intervention target in young people.
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