A metacognitive model of alcohol use: A cross-sectional study examining the role of metacognitions and desire thinking
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Metacognitive theory has proven itself useful in the conceptualization and treatment of common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. A growing body of research has demonstrated that metacognitive beliefs and related thinking styles are also closely associated with alcohol use and other addictive behaviours. A consequence of metacognitive beliefs about alcohol is the increased likelihood for the individual to engage in desire thinking. Desire thinking is a form of extended thinking known to cause craving for alcohol. Despite indications that metacognitions about alcohol and desire thinking both are involved in alcohol use, these phenomena have yet to be examined together in the same study. In the present study, a survey including measures for positive and negative alcohol metacognitions as well as desire thinking was conducted on a convenience sample (N = 588). Conducting correlational, regression, and path analyses, the results from the present study supported previous findings regarding alcohol metacognitions and desire thinking with respect to impact on alcohol use levels. Path analysis lead to a metacognitive model of alcohol use, metacognitions, and desire thinking, with good model fit. The model proposes a path that is initiated when positive alcohol metacognitions become active. Positive alcohol metacognitions seem to directly stimulate alcohol use, and also to trigger imaginal and verbal desire thinking which could enhance likelihood of alcohol use further. Lastly, alcohol use and desire thinking may lead to negative alcohol metacognitions. In this manner, the model demonstrates the interaction between alcohol metacognitions and desire thinking, and the outcome it has on alcohol use. Implications of the findings, limitations of the present study and suggestions for further research are discussed.