An Evaluation of the Tension Reduction Hypothesis: Does Alcohol Consumption Buffer the Stress of Civil Servants in Makurdi, North Central Nigeria?
27 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 22, 2018
Objective: The study evaluated the tension reduction hypothesis to ascertain if alcohol consumption buffers stress. Specifically the study tested if alcohol consumption moderates the stress-psychological distress relationship.
Methods: The 147 participants (males, 102; females, 45) in the current study that consume alcohol were part of a 2013 ex post facto cross-sectional study on the role of stress in hypertension among 324 Benue State Civil Servants residing in Makurdi, North Central Nigeria. The current study conceptualized stress as; life events, chronic stress and, as an additive function of life events, chronic stress and, an interaction between both, to test if alcohol consumption buffers the stress-psychological distress association.
Results: Significantly positive relationships between all specifications of stress and, psychological distress were found. However, alcohol consumption attenuated only the association between stress as an additive function and psychological distress. Controlling for gender and economic status, the greatest buffer effects were found among the low income male civil servants.
Conclusion: Alcohol consumption was found to attenuate stress-psychological distress among low income male civil servants. Although these civil servants may be using alcohol to temporarily self medicate their distress, they are an at-risk group for problematic alcohol use.
Keywords: civil servants, tension reduction, alcohol consumption, stress buffering
JEL Classification: I12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation