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Examining the daily reciprocal relations between alcohol abstinence self-efficacy and drinking among non-treatment seeking individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Theoretical and empirical models of alcohol use and misuse indicate that abstinence self-efficacy (ASE) predicts improvements in treatment outcomes among individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD). More recently, studies have begun examining daily fluctuations in ASE to better understand in-the-moment determinants of drinking behaviors. With the goal of assessing how ASE is implicated in maintenance (rather than changing) of hazardous drinking patterns, the current study examined daily reciprocal relations between ASE and drinking among individuals with AUD. Non-treatment seeking adults (n = 63) with AUD were recruited and completed daily surveys assessing ASE and drinking behaviors for 14 days. Data were analyzed using time-lagged multilevel modeling. Results indicated that both within- and between-person elevations in ASE predicted decreased likelihood of drinking, but only within-person ASE predicted fewer drinks consumed on drinking days. Previous-day drinking behavior was unrelated to next-day ASE; however, higher percentage of drinking days during the monitoring period (between-person) was associated with lower daily ASE. These results demonstrate that confidence in one's ability to abstain from drinking varies considerably across days, and that fluctuations may be implicated in daily drinking decisions. The lack of effect of previous-day drinking on ASE (combined with the significant effect of average drinking frequency) may suggest that sustained periods of reduced drinking or abstinence are necessary to impact ASE. This study points to ASE's role in the maintenance of daily drinking behavior among non-treatment-seeking individuals with AUD and reiterates the importance of self-efficacy in behavioral control and decision-making at the daily level.

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