Due to the current prolonged conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, members of the United States National Guard and Reserve have shifted from a historically support-based role to an integral segment of combat efforts. Clinical and epidemiological research studies conducted on both civilian and military populations have documented high rates of comorbidity of stress disorders and substance use disorders. It is widely understood that excessive alcohol use is an issue among military personnel. The aim of this paper is to describe risk factors for alcohol related serious consequences in a study of Army National Guard service members, as well as the role of resilience in protecting against these risks. Members of the National Guard (N = 320) participated in the survey. We conducted a multiple regression to predict alcohol-related serious consequences and a simple moderation analysis was performed. After controlling for race, education, and deployment history, several variables emerged as significant predictors of alcohol-related consequences. Higher stressors, lower resilience, younger age, being unmarried and not living as married, being male, and identifying as non-Hispanic were associated with higher levels of serious alcohol-related consequences. Results revealed that resilience significantly moderated the relationship between stress and alcohol-related consequences. This study furthers our understanding of the alcohol-stress relationship by contextualizing it in terms of behaviors related to alcohol, as opposed to measuring consumption only. Most importantly, our work extends prior research in its examination of resilience as a moderator of the relationship between stress and serious alcohol-related consequences.
Resilience as a moderating factor between stress and alcohol-related consequences in the Army National Guard