Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Neal Doran

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jason T. Siegel

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

William Crano

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Eusebio Alvaro

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Emily A Warren


alcohol use, negative urgency, outcome expectancies, tobacco use

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social Psychology


Evidence indicates targeting outcome expectancies of risky health behaviors via persuasive communication is an effective approach for deterring risky health behaviors. Targeting specific domains of impulsivity (e.g., sensation seeking) via persuasive messaging has also been associated with reduced substance use. However, trait negative urgency, a unique domain of impulsivity involving rash action during negative affect, has yet to be used as a target for prevention efforts. Although scholars have suggested targeting both negative urgency and outcome expectancies in prevention efforts, this has yet to be assessed in an experimental setting. Two experimental studies assessed the value of targeting negative urgency and outcome expectancies when attempting to deter subjective craving for alcohol and cigarettes, respectively. The studies assessed whether a tailored persuasion approach was associated with less craving for alcohol and cigarettes than an approach focused on long-term harm of these behaviors. The studies also investigated whether the relationship between negative urgency and craving differed depending on persuasive approach, affect induction, and finally, whether predicted effects of the writing task differed according to participants’ affect and level of negative urgency. Study 1 results supported two out of six hypotheses, such that negative urgency was a consistent predictor of alcohol craving, and higher negative urgency participants who received the outcome expectancy challenge writing task reported less craving than those who received the long-term harm writing task, and this difference was greater than that of lower negative urgency participants. Additional exploratory analyses also revealed the utility of an expectancy challenge approach for negative urgency participants who engage in binge drinking. Study 2 results showed a consistent main effect of negative urgency but did not provide support for additional hypotheses. These results offer preliminary support for considering both negative urgency and outcome expectancies when developing tailored approaches to deterring alcohol use to cope with negative emotions and offer ways to improve future prevention efforts among current smokers.