An examination of affect prior to and following episodes of getting drunk in women with bulimia nervosa

Emily M. Pisetsky, Ross D. Crosby, Li Cao, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, James E. Mitchell, Scott G. Engel, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Carol B. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The current study examined the association between affect and self-reported alcohol intoxication in women with bulimia nervosa (BN; N=133). Participants completed a two-week ecological momentary assessment protocol. Momentary global positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA), as well as the facets of NA (fear, guilt, hostility and sadness), were measured. Forty-five participants endorsed that they "got drunk" during the study period. Daily mean and variability of global PA and NA were compared between days with self-reported alcohol intoxication and days without self-reported alcohol intoxication. Trajectories of affect were modeled prior to and following episodes of self-reported alcohol intoxication. There were no differences in the mean or variability of PA or NA on days characterized by self-reported alcohol intoxication compared to days with no self-reported alcohol intoxication (ps>0.05). PA decreased significantly prior to self-reported alcohol intoxication and remained stable afterwards. There were no changes in global NA before or after self-reported alcohol intoxication, but an examination of the facets of NA showed that sadness increased following episodes of self-reported alcohol intoxication. These findings showed only partial support for a negative reinforcement model of alcohol use in women with BN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Jun 30 2016



  • Alcohol use
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Ecological momentary assessment

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