Although young men or young adults with mental health disorders are at higher risk to engage in problematic drinking, they typically evince stronger associations between protective behavioral strategies (PBS) and fewer alcohol outcomes. This study aimed to contribute to this line of research by examining the moderating effect of depression, bipolar spectrum disorder, borderline personality disorder and social anxiety disorder on the association between PBS and alcohol outcomes. Participants (N = 4,960; mean age = 25.43) were young men participating in the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors. Measures of PBS use, typical drinks per week, alcohol-related consequences, depression, bipolar spectrum disorder, borderline personality disorder and social anxiety disorder were used from the second follow-up assessment. Main results indicated that the negative association between PBS and alcohol use was stronger in participants with borderline personality disorder than among those without this disorder. Unexpectedly, in participants with depression, PBS were not significantly associated with alcohol use, whereas they were related to fewer drinks among those without the disorder. Similarly, in participants with bipolar spectrum disorder, the association between PBS and alcohol-related consequences was not significant, whereas PBS were associated with fewer consequences in those without the disorder. Finally, findings indicated that social anxiety disorder did not significantly moderate the associations between PBS and alcohol outcomes. If replicated by future research, these findings imply that PBS-intervention may not equally impact young adults with diverse mental health disorders.
Keywords: Alcohol; Mood and personality disorders; Protective behavioral strategies; Young men.
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