Depressive symptom domains and alcohol use severity among Hispanic emerging adults: Examining moderating effects of gender

Addict Behav. 2017 Sep:72:72-78. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.03.015. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Objective: A limited amount of research has examined the effects of unique depressive symptom domains on alcohol use behavior among Hispanics of any developmental stage. This study aimed to (a) examine the respective associations between depressive symptom domains (e.g., negative affect, anhedonia, interpersonal problems, and somatic complaints) and alcohol use severity among Hispanic emerging adults, and (b) examine if gender moderates each respective association.

Method: 181 Hispanic emerging adults (ages 18-25) completed an anonymous cross-sectional online survey. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, and the Center Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to estimate respective associations of negative affect, anhedonia, interpersonal problems, and somatic complaints in relation to alcohol use severity. Moderation tests were also conducted to examine if gender functioned as an effect modifier between respective depressive symptom domains and alcohol use severity.

Results: Findings indicated higher levels of anhedonia were associated with higher alcohol use severity (β=0.20, p=0.02). Moderation analyses indicated that somatic complaints (β=-0.41, p=0.02) and interpersonal problems were associated with greater alcohol use severity among men (β=-0.60, p<0.001), but not women.

Conclusions: Findings underscore the need to examine the relationship between specific depressive symptom domains and alcohol use; and the importance of accounting for potential gender differences in these associations.

Keywords: Alcohol; Depression; Emerging adults; Gender; Hispanics.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / ethnology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Anhedonia
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • United States
  • Young Adult