Objective\ud Alcohol-related implicit (preconscious) cognitive processes are established and unique predictors of alcohol use, but most research in this area has focused on alcohol-related implicit cognition and anxiety. This study extends this work into the area of depressed mood by testing a cognitive model that combines traditional explicit (conscious and considered) beliefs, implicit alcohol-related memory associations (AMAs), and self-reported drinking behavior.\ud Method\ud Using a sample of 106 university students, depressed mood was manipulated using a musical mood induction procedure immediately prior to completion of implicit then explicit alcohol-related cognition measures. A bootstrapped two-group (weak/strong expectancies of negative affect and tension reduction) structural equation model was used to examine how mood changes and alcohol-related memory associations varied across groups.\ud Results\ud Expectancies of negative affect moderated the association of depressed mood and AMAs, but there was no such association for tension reduction expectancy.\ud Conclusion\ud Subtle mood changes may unconsciously trigger alcohol-related memories in vulnerable individuals. Results have implications for addressing subtle fluctuations in depressed mood among young adults at risk of alcohol problems
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