Social Anxiety and Alcohol-Related Impairment: The Mediational Impact of Solitary Drinking

Article


Buckner, Julia D. and Terlecki, M. 2016. Social Anxiety and Alcohol-Related Impairment: The Mediational Impact of Solitary Drinking. Addictive Behaviors. 58 (July), pp. 7-11.
AuthorsBuckner, Julia D. and Terlecki, M.
Abstract

Social anxiety disorder more than quadruples the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, yet
it is inconsistently linked to drinking frequency. Inconsistent findings may be at least partially
due to lack of attention to drinking context – it may be that socially anxious individuals are
especially vulnerable to drinking more often in specific contexts that increase their risk for
alcohol-related problems. For instance, socially anxious persons may drink more often while
alone, before social situations for “liquid courage” and/or after social situations to manage
negative thoughts about their performance. Among current (past-month) drinkers (N = 776),
social anxiety was significantly, positively related to solitary drinking frequency and was
negatively related to social drinking frequency. Social anxiety was indirectly (via solitary drinking
frequency) related to greater past-month drinking frequency and more drinking-related
problems. Social anxiety was also indirectly (via social drinking frequency) negatively related to
past-month drinking frequency and drinking-related problems. Findings suggest that socially
anxious persons may be vulnerable to more frequent drinking in particular contexts (in this case
alone) and that this context-specific drinking may play an important role in drinking problems
among these high-risk individuals.

KeywordsDrinking contexts; Drinking problems; Solitary drinking; Alcohol; Social anxiety; Social phobia
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Journal citation58 (July), pp. 7-11
ISSN0306-4603
1873-6327
Year2016
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.02.006
Publication dates
Print09 Feb 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Feb 2016
Accepted07 Feb 2016
FunderNIDA
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Copyright information© Elsevier 2016.
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