Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dace S. Svikis Ph.D.


Research has repeatedly highlighted a high rate of comorbidity of addictive behaviors in both clinical and non-clinical samples. While polydrug use has received significant attention in recent years, less is known about rates of comorbidity with behavioral addictions such as eating, work, exercise, or sex. Individuals with a history of bariatric surgery may provide a unique opportunity to examine the potential co-occurrence of addictive behaviors. High rates of food addiction symptoms and changes in alcohol use patterns post-surgically have highlighted a potential gap in our understanding of bariatric patients and their needs post-surgically. Using a composite measure of addictive behaviors, the Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire (SPQ), this study examined prevalence of alcohol and other addictive behaviors in individuals with a history of bariatric surgery and the psychosocial correlates that are associated with such problems. The present study found elevated rates of substance use and alcohol use problems when compared to rates in the literature. In addition, the SPQ alcohol score was found to be strongly correlated to measures of alcohol consumption quantity and frequency and other measures of alcohol related problems. This provides preliminary support for SPQ alcohol subscale validity in bariatric samples. Finally, several psychosocial correlates of alcohol use problems were examined. As hypothesized, gender, history of cannabis use, parental history of alcohol problems, and history of daily smoking all had significant associations to CAGE scores. Mean alcohol quantity and frequency variables decreased pre- to post-surgery. Time elapsed since surgery was not significantly correlated with post-surgical alcohol quantity and frequency or with SPQ alcohol subscale scores. Present study findings can inform future research to better understand the relationships between eating and other addictive behaviors in a post-surgical sample of bariatric surgery patients.


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