The effects of alcohol on mood induced by an emotional film. A study among women

M.A.L. van Tilburg, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets

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    Objective: The present study was designed to investigate the effects of alcohol on women's reactions to a negative mood-inducing stimulus. It is hypothesized that, like in men, alcohol also reduces tension or induces positive mood in women. In addition, we explored whether different mood states were affected differentially by alcohol intake. Methods: Participants were 132 female students who were randomly divided into four groups: (1) control, (2) placebo, (3) low-dose alcohol and (4) high-dose alcohol. A dramatic film was used to induce negative affect and mood was assessed at baseline, before and after the movie. Results: Alcohol consumption decreased the negative impact of the emotional film on mood. Some mood states varied with pharmacological changes, while others varied with expectancy of drinking alcohol. Relaxation, fear and sadness were not differentially affected by alcohol intake or expectancy. Conclusion: Drinking when exposed to emotional situations may be reinforced by the short-term positive effects on well-being among moderate female drinkers. The findings further suggest that the effects of alcohol on certain specific emotional states (including sadness and fear) are minimal at best.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)805-809
    JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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