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After Stress Women Feel Sad - Men Want to Drink Alcohol

posted 08:34 AM EST, Sat May 17, 2008
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After Stress Women Feel Sad - Men Want to Drink Alcohol © Photo: Luderbrus

Yale University researchers say that stressful situations prompt greater cravings to drink for men, than for women.

Yale University researchers say that men are more than women likely to pour a drink in response to stress – while women are more likely to feel depression, sadness or anxiety after a stressful event.

Tara M. Chaplin, a scientist at the university explained that they knew that women and men responded differently to stress, and they wanted to see if gender differences existed when cravings to drink alcohol were measured after a stressful experience.

The researchers had an equal number of men and women use visualization and imagery to experience a number of scenarios, some of them stressful. During these visualizations, the scientists monitored physiological data, such as pulse rate and blood pressure and also used qualitative interview techniques to try to gain an understanding of what sensations and responses the stress situations elicited.

Men reported a greater desire to drink alcohol in response to stress, while women reported a greater affective response. Women tended to dwell on the stress and the negative emotions elicited, while men tended to attempt distraction techniques to try to forget about the stressful experience.

The researchers warn that the repeated use of alcohol as a coping mechanism for stress puts men at risk for problem drinking or alcoholism.

The research data appears in the current edition of Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research.

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