Testing the stress-strain-coping-support (SSCS) model among family members of an alcohol misusing relative: The mediating effect of burden and tolerant-inactive coping

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Background: Excessive alcohol use may harm not only the individual drinker, but also the lives of their family members. The stress-strain-coping-support (SSCS) model emphasizes that the stress experienced by family members could lead to the development of various physical and psychological symptoms. Objectives: The aim of the current study is to examine the possible moderating and mediating role of coping on the relationship between stress and strain among family members seeking help due to a relative's alcohol misuse. Methods: Data from 168 help-seeking affected family members were analyzed (mean age: 44.61 years; 87.5% were female). The cross-sectional study used a set of standard questionnaires measuring the perceived severity of the relative's alcohol-related problem, the family member's feelings of hopelessness, their coping styles, and the strain and burden of caring for the relative who is misusing alcohol. Path analyses were used to test the direct and indirect effects of the mediational model. Results: Current findings provided support for the moderating effect of engaged coping. Moreover, tolerant-inactive coping style and burden on hopelessness have an addictive effect. The mediational model showed an adequate fit. The pathways between (1) the perceived alcohol-related problem – burden – hopelessness, (2) the perceived alcohol-related problem – tolerant coping – hopelessness, and (3) the perceived alcohol problem-related – burden –tolerant coping – hopelessness each showed significant indirect effects. Conclusions: The findings support the suggestion of the SSCS-model on the mediating role of coping between stress and strain. Affected family members who perceive more severe alcohol-related problems could show increased rates of burden and tolerant-inactive coping style, which could separately or sequentially result in increased symptoms of hopelessness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - febr. 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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