Alcohol cue reactivity and mood induction in male and female alcoholics

J Stud Alcohol. 1994 Jul;55(4):487-94. doi: 10.15288/jsa.1994.55.487.


The purpose of this study was twofold: to investigate gender differences in alcohol cue reactivity, and to study the effect of individualized mood induction on cue reactivity. Male (n = 38) and female (n = 19) alcoholics were exposed to an alcoholic beverage before and after mood induction to assess their reactivity to the beverage cues. The mood induction was based on a situation the subject had identified as being high risk for relapse. Subjects showed urge and salivary reactivity in response to alcohol beverage cues prior to mood induction, and the induction of mood enhanced urge reactivity in both men and women. Analyses with alcohol urge reactors (subjects that demonstrate an increased urge to drink alcohol in response to an alcoholic beverage cue) suggested that women show more urge reactivity in response to negative moods than do men. No gender differences were seen in reactivity to beverage cues alone. These results identify an important gender difference in the effect of negative moods on cue reactivity and suggest that negative mood situations may place women at a higher risk for relapse than men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Cues*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome