Photo: Getty Images
Previous research has shown that both alcohol use and jealousy are related to negative relationship outcomes. Little work, however, has examined direct associations between alcohol use and jealousy. The current study was aimed to build upon existing research examining alcohol use and jealousy. More specifically, findings from current jealousy literature indicate that jealousy is a multifaceted construct with both maladaptive and adaptive aspects. The current study examined the association between maladaptive and adaptive feelings of jealousy and alcohol-related problems in the context of drinking to cope. Given the relationship between coping motives and alcohol-related problems, our primary interest was in predicting alcohol-related problems, but alcohol consumption was also investigated. Undergraduate students at a large Northwestern university (N = 657) in the US participated in the study. They completed measures of jealousy, drinking to cope, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems. Analyses examined associations between jealousy subscales, alcohol use, drinking to cope, and drinking problems. Results indicated that drinking to cope mediated the association between some, but not all, aspects of jealousy and problems with alcohol use. In particular, the more negative or maladaptive aspects of jealousy were related to drinking to cope and drinking problems, while the more adaptive aspects were not, suggesting a more complex view of jealousy than previously understood.