Studies show that more positive relationship satisfaction can mitigate the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression severity on hazardous drinking in military samples. However, past studies were not circumscribed to female service members/veterans (SM/V), who represent the fastest growing demographic in the military. Moreover, studies did not examine moderators of specific symptom clusters of PTSD and depression with hazardous drinking. Indeed, recent studies have shown that the more depressive and cognitive clusters are associated with greater dysfunction. The current study extended this literature in a convenience sample of 584 female SM/V who completed self-report measures of hazardous drinking, PTSD, depression, and relationship satisfaction. PTSD or depression severity, relationship satisfaction, and their interaction, were examined as correlates of hazardous drinking after accounting for relationship, demographic, and military characteristics. For both overall PTSD and depression severity, higher relationship satisfaction weakened their association with hazardous drinking. Such results were consistent when global scores were replaced with PTSD-related negative alterations in cognitions and mood and somatic depression symptom clusters, but not for PTSD-related dysphoric arousal, anhedonia, or non-somatic depression symptom clusters. Findings suggest that to lessen the association of PTSD or depressive symptoms with problematic drinking, interventions aimed at improving relationship satisfaction may be worth considering among women in relationships. Moreover, symptom cluster analyses show that the cognitive and depressive components of PTSD, as well as the physical symptoms of depression, are most problematic, pinpointing specific areas of function on which to intervene.
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