Abstract To evaluate the notion that perceived stress and drinking covary over time, daily logs were periodically collected over a 6-month period from 32 middle-aged women. Results indicated that significantly less alcohol was consumed on high-stress weeks than low-stress weeks. Problem-focused (P-F) coping preference moderated this relationship, with low P-F copers consuming more alcohol per occasion than did high P-F copers but only during low-stress weeks. These findings support a model of stress and alcohol use that includes coping preference as an important moderator of women's drinking. In addition, our data are consistent with the notion that stress can influence alcohol consumption but that low P-F women regulate their use, preferring to delay their drinking until after the termination of the stressor.