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Journal of Addiction
Volume 2014, Article ID 646451, 10 pages
Research Article

The Great Recession and Drinking Outcomes: Protective Effects of Politically Oriented Coping

1Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1601 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
2Department of Sociology, DePaul University, 990 W. Fullerton Avenue, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

Received 13 May 2014; Revised 12 August 2014; Accepted 25 August 2014; Published 14 September 2014

Academic Editor: Sarah E. Zemore

Copyright © 2014 Judith A. Richman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Research derived from the stress paradigm suggests that certain types of coping (e.g., problem-focused coping instead of behavioral disengagement) are protective against problem-related drinking to deal with social stressors. Going beyond the typical focus in the coping literature, we hypothesize that stressors engendered by macrolevel social forces may require coping actions within the political realm in contrast to modes of coping focused outside of the political realm. A United States sample of 663 respondents completed a mail survey in 2010, including measures of stressful consequences of the Great Recession, drinking patterns and problems, modes of coping encompassed in the Brief COPE instrument, and politically oriented coping. Structural equation modeling examined whether modes of coping mediated the links between stressors and drinking outcomes. A substantial portion of the associations between stressors and drinking was explained by modes of coping. Politically oriented coping was protective against problem drinking for both genders. Future studies should further explore politically oriented coping in addition to modes of coping outside of the political realm when studying the relationships between macrolevel social stressors and deleterious drinking outcomes.