The impact of minor stressful life events and social support on cravings: A study of inpatients receiving treatment for substance dependence

Steven C. Ames, John C. Roitzsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


This study examined the incidence of cravings and minor stress events, whether stress predicted cravings, and whether social support predicted cravings or moderated the relation between stress and cravings. Participants included 39 inpatients being treated for substance dependence. Minor stress was assessed with the Daily Stress Inventory, social support was measured using the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, and cravings were measured using the Daily Urge Record Sheet. Compared to normative data, participants reported a similar number of minor stressors and rated the impact of these events as somewhat, but not significantly, more stressful. A total of 64.10% of the sample did not experience cravings. A logistic regression revealed that number of minor stressors (b = 0.59, p < .05) and perceived impact of stress (b = 0.49, p < .05) predicted cravings. Social support moderated the association between incidence of stressors and cravings (b = -0.10, p < .05). These findings suggest that minor stress may contribute to cravings, and supports the social support buffering hypothesis. Implications for theory and future research about the role of minor stress and cravings in substance abuse are discussed. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-547
Number of pages9
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000



  • Drug addiction
  • Drug dependency
  • Drug rehabilitation
  • Psychological stress
  • Social behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this