Alcohol Use Cravings as a Mediator Between Associated Risk Factors on Increased Alcohol Use among Youth Adults in New York During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ijeoma Opara, Sana Malik, David T. Lardier, Joyonna Gamble-George, Ryan J. Kelly, Chukwuemeka N. Okafor, R. Neil Greene, Deanna Parisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sudden increase in alcohol use in the young-adult population during the COVID-19 pandemic may be partially explained by social isolation and stress due to restricted stay-at-home orders. The goal of this study was to assess specific psychological factors (e.g., anxiety, depressive symptoms, sleep disturbances, and alcohol cravings) and COVID-19 diagnoses and their association with increased alcohol use and misuse during the COVID-19 pandemic among New York residents ages 18–35 years. Survey data were collected via Qualtrics between July 2020 and October 2020. Path analysis tests were employed to test alcohol-use cravings as a mediator. Among the total sample (N = 575), the mean age was 27.94 ± 4.12; a majority of the participants were White non-Hispanic (66%), female (55%), and had completed a four-year college or university degree (n = 249; 43.5%). Results revealed that alcohol-use cravings was a significant mediator between sleep disturbances, having a COVID-19 diagnoses, and having mental-health symptoms on increased alcohol use. Our findings underscore the importance of providing resources for alcohol-use prevention and treatment in this unprecedented COVID-19 era. Policymakers, public-health professionals, and clinicians have a significant role in curbing the COVID-19-induced substance-use epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • alcohol use
  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • sleep
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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