Intensive Longitudinal Methods for Studying the Role of Self-Regulation Strategies in Substance Use Behavior Change

Corey R. Roos, Hedy Kober, Timothy J. Trull, R. Ross MacLean, Chung Jung Mun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Many psychosocial interventions for substance use disorders (SUDs) focus on teaching self-regulation strategies. Research using intensive longitudinal methods (ILM), such as ecological momentary assessment and daily diaries, is critical for elucidating if and how these strategies function as mechanisms of change among individuals with SUDs. We review this emerging area of research. Recent Findings: We found a small number of studies using ILM to study self-regulation strategies in SUD (n = 18 studies), with most conducted among college student drinkers (n = 9) and cigarette smokers (n = 7), and few among treatment-engaged individuals, and those with other drug use disorders. There is preliminary evidence that the use of specific self-regulation strategies commonly taught in psychosocial interventions for SUDs (i.e., cognitive reappraisal, problem-solving, stimulus control, harm reduction) is associated with decreased momentary or daily substance use, at the within-person level. Summary: There is a need for further ILM research on self-regulation strategies as mechanisms of substance use behavior change. Such research can inform the development, refinement, and personalization of interventions that teach self-regulation strategies, including mobile interventions that facilitate strategy use in the moment. One key next step is developing psychometrically validated ILM assessments of self-regulation strategy use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-316
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Daily diary design
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Intensive longitudinal methods
  • Self-regulation strategies
  • Substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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