Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Degree Level



School of Social Work


Alishia Ferguson

Committee Member

Jennifer Veilleux

Second Committee Member

John Gallagher


Action Control, Alcohol Use, Drinking Behavior, Maternal Invalidation, Parenting Styles


Alcohol use disorder is one of the most prevalent disorders worldwide. As such, researchers have examined factors contributing to alcohol use. Perception of emotional experiences in childhood as invalidating by parents is one factor that has been found to predict later alcohol use, though less is known about maternal invalidation specifically. Parental invalidation has also been found to predict difficulty regulating affective states (i.e., negative and positive affect), which is also a determinant of alcohol use. Further, researchers have studied temptation to drink and restraint from drinking as related to alcohol use to better understand drinking behavior. Though there appears to be a link, these variables have not been studied together. Thus, the current study aimed to fill this gap by examining the relationship between perceived maternal invalidation, the upregulation of positive affect and downregulation of negative affect, and temptation to drink as well as restraint from drinking. Participants were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk from a larger sample of US adults (n = 1128) who completed self-report measures on emotional tendencies. Participants who reported drinking alcohol in the last year were invited back to participate in the current study (n = 427, Mage = 34.08 and 54.3% female). Bivariate correlations were conducted to determine the association between perception of maternal invalidation, upregulation of positive affect (AOD) and downregulation of negative affect (AOF), temptation, and restraint regarding drinking behavior. A parallel mediator regression analysis was used to determine if greater upregulation of positive affect and greater downregulation of negative affect mediated the relationship between greater perception of maternal invalidation and greater difficulty resisting temptation to drink and restraining from drinking by evaluating direct and indirect effects using 95% bias-corrected bootstrapped confidence intervals of 5000 samples. Results indicated moderate positive correlations for upregulation of positive affect and downregulation of negative affect scores. Negative correlations were found between both upregulation of positive affect scores and downregulation of negative affect scores and restraint, temptation, and perception of maternal validation scores. Further, AOD partially mediated the relationship between perception of maternal invalidation and difficulty resisting the temptation to drink. Perception of greater maternal invalidation was also found to predict greater difficulty restraining from drinking. Clinical implications as well as study limitations are discussed.