Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Ditre, Joseph W.


alcohol, expectancies, pain

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology


Rates of alcohol consumption are substantially higher among persons with pain, and recent research has focused on elucidating bidirectional pain-alcohol effects. Expectancies for alcohol analgesia could influence the degree to which alcohol confers acute pain-relieving effects, and may amplify the propensity to respond to pain with drinking behavior. However, no validated measures of expectancies for alcohol analgesia are available. The goal of this project was to examine psychometric properties of a measure of Expectancies for Alcohol Analgesia (EAA) across two samples (current alcohol users with and without chronic pain). Study 1 included 200 moderate-to-heavy drinkers with no current acute/chronic pain (Mage = 33.4; 39% female) who were recruited for a primary laboratory study. Results indicated that the hypothesized single-factor structure of the EAA provided good model fit (Bollen-Stine bootstrap p = .17). The EAA also showed excellent internal consistency (α = .97), and scores were positively associated with average daily drinks, binge drinking frequency, and alcohol outcome expectancies (ps < .01). As expected, EAA scores were not associated with participant height (p > .05). Study 2 included 273 current alcohol users with chronic musculoskeletal pain (Mage = 32.9; 34% female) who completed an online survey of pain and substance use. Results of Study 2 further supported the single-factor structure (Bollen-Stine bootstrap p = .13), and internal consistency of the EAA was excellent (α = .97). EAA scores were positively associated with quantity/frequency of alcohol use, alcohol outcome expectancies, coping-related drinking motives, and pain severity (ps < .01). EAA scores were not associated with height (p > .05). Collectively, these findings provide initial support regarding the single-factor structure, reliability, and validity of the EAA. Examination of predictive utility and further validation will be important next steps.


Open Access