Posttraumatic Stress And Alcohol Use Among Hispanic/latina Survivors Of Interpersonal Trauma: Associations With Anxiety Sensitivity And Distress Tolerance

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy


Hispanic/Latina students experience elevated rates of binge drinking, interpersonal trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Research has indicated anxiety sensitivity (AS; i.e., fear of anxiety-related bodily sensations) and distress tolerance (DT; i.e., ability to tolerate negative emotional states) are modifiable psychological mechanisms related to alcohol use and PTSD symptoms. However, a dearth of literature has focused on factors that may account for associations between alcohol use and PTSD among Hispanic/Latina students. Method: The project examined, among 288 Hispanic/Latina college students (Mage = 23.3 years, SD =5.4) with interpersonal trauma histories, the indirect effects of PTSD symptom severity on (a) alcohol use and (b) alcohol use motives (i.e., coping, conformity, enhancement, social) via DT and AS, evaluated as parallel statistical mediators. Results: Results PTSD symptom severity had an indirect effect on (a) alcohol use severity; (b) conformity motives for alcohol use; and (c) social motives for alcohol use via AS but not DT. PTSD symptom severity was associated with coping-oriented drinking via both AS and DT. Conclusions: This research has the potential to advance culturally-informed literature on factors that may impact co-occurring PTSD symptoms and alcohol use