The Association between Mental Wellbeing, Levels of Harmful Drinking, and Drinking Motivations: A Cross-Sectional Study of the UK Adult Population

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Abstract

Mental well-being and excessive alcohol consumption each represent a significant public health concern, and evidence suggests an association between them. Furthermore, drinking motivations associated with harmful drinking have been studied, but not systematically in the UK population. A representative sample of 6174 UK adults aged 18⁻75 were surveyed online. Low risk drinkers were found to have higher mental well-being than hazardous, harmful, and, probable, dependence drinkers. Using a hierarchical multiple regression analysis, it was found that just over 5% of the variance in well-being scores was accounted for by the level of harmful drinking and drinking motivation; the most significant contribution was drinking to cope. Among people drinking to cope, those drinking in more harmful ways were statistically significantly more likely to have low well-being compared to less harmful drinkers. In the UK adult population there is a clear association between poor mental well-being and harmful drinking. Furthermore, coping was a significant motivation to drink for many with low mental well-being. While mental well-being was found to be directly linked with levels of harmful drinking, the motivation for drinking was a stronger predictor of mental well-being.

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APA

Appleton, A., James, R., & Larsen, J. (2018). The Association between Mental Wellbeing, Levels of Harmful Drinking, and Drinking Motivations: A Cross-Sectional Study of the UK Adult Population. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071333

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