Understanding Alcohol Reward in Social Context
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|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03449095|
Recruitment Status : Suspended (COVID-19)
First Posted : February 28, 2018
Last Update Posted : December 17, 2020
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Alcohol Drinking Alcohol Use Disorder Alcohol Intoxication Alcohol; Harmful Use Alcoholism Binge Drinking||Drug: Alcohol||Not Applicable|
Objective: Although the vast majority of alcohol consumption outside the laboratory occurs in social context, experimental studies of alcohol's emotionally reinforcing effects have overwhelmingly examined individuals drinking in isolation. The current study examines motivationally salient elements of everyday social drinking contexts as moderators of alcohol-related reinforcement. More specifically, the present study examine whether alcohol is more reinforcing within the context of unfamiliar vs. familiar social interaction and, further, whether alcohol is more reinforcing within the context of low vs. high quality social relationships. The current study furthermore examine whether individuals with characteristics that put them at risk for developing an alcohol use disorder (e.g., male gender, impulsive/extraverted personality profile, heavy patterns of consumption, family history of AUD, ...) exhibit heightened emotional reinforcement from alcohol within these social drinking contexts.
The current project represents a test of competing theories of alcohol reinforcement. Alcohol myopia theory-which has heretofore represented the most prominent theory of alcohol's effects-predicts that alcohol's ability to relieve stress depends on the nature (positive or negative) of stimuli in the drinker's immediate environment. Alcohol myopia theory might thus predict that alcohol's rewarding effects will be larger within familiar interactions and within secure relationships. In contrast, the social attributional theory of alcohol reinforcement predicts that alcohol-related reinforcement will be most pronounced within the context of unfamiliar social interactions.
In addition to providing an opportunity to test contextual and individual-level moderators of alcohol reinforcement, the current study represents an opportunity to directly test the replicability of research indicating a pronounced reinforcing effect of alcohol specifically within interactions among unfamiliar individuals (Sayette et al., 2012; Fairbairn et al., 2013).
Study Population: Participants will consist of 600 male and female drinkers, aged 21-30, with no reported history of severe alcohol use disorder. Participants will be sampled such that at least 360 of these participants will classify as heavy drinkers.
Design: In the laboratory arm of the study, individuals will be randomly assigned to consume either a moderate dose of alcohol or a control beverage in the company of either familiar or unfamiliar individuals. Of these individuals, a subset will also participate in an ambulatory assessment period over the course of several weeks to examine the interaction of alcohol and social contextual factors in daily life. In the ambulatory study arm, participants will wear transdermal sensors to assess BAC and will further provide information about their mood and their social contexts in response to random prompts.
Outcome Measures: Primary outcome measures include self-reports of positive and negative mood and perceived social reinforcement. The investigators will also examine facial expressions using the Facial Action Coding System, a comprehensive, anatomically-based system for categorizing facial muscle movement. One aim of the current study is to examine whether differential reinforcement from alcohol in unfamiliar social contexts emerges only with respect to self-reports, or is also observable within facial behaviors.
|Study Type :||Interventional (Clinical Trial)|
|Estimated Enrollment :||600 participants|
|Intervention Model:||Factorial Assignment|
|Masking:||Single (Outcomes Assessor)|
|Primary Purpose:||Basic Science|
|Official Title:||Examining the Impact of Stress on the Emotionally Reinforcing Properties of Alcohol in Heavy Social Drinkers: A Multimodal Investigation Integrating Laboratory and Ambulatory Methods|
|Actual Study Start Date :||November 4, 2017|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date :||September 1, 2023|
|Estimated Study Completion Date :||September 1, 2023|
Experimental: Alcohol Administration
A moderate dose of alcohol (Target BAC .08%)
Alcohol Target BAC .08%
No Intervention: Control Beverage Administration
Participants consume a non-alcoholic beverage
- Self-Reported Emotion [ Time Frame: 1 day (laboratory session) ]Positive and negative emotion will be assessed during the laboratory beverage-administration session via self-report on the "8-item Mood Measure."
- Self-Reported Social Reinforcement [ Time Frame: 1 day (laboratory session) ]Social reinforcement will be assessed using an index of perceived social closeness as well as a modified version of the Perceived Group Reinforcement Scale.
- Social Bonding [ Time Frame: 1 day (laboratory session) ]Social bonding will be assessed during the laboratory beverage-administration session. This will be assessed by examining the synchronization among group members of facial expressions of emotion.
- Self-Reported Emotion [ Time Frame: 2-3 week ambulatory assessment period ]Positive and negative emotion will be assessed during the ambulatory assessment period via self-report on the "8-item Mood Measure."
- Interpersonal Distance [ Time Frame: 1 day (laboratory session) ]Physical proximity to other participants during the experiment
To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03449095
|United States, Illinois|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Champaign, Illinois, United States, 61820|
|Principal Investigator:||Catharine E Fairbairn, Ph.D.||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|