The Role of Underutilization of Protective Behavioral Strategies in the Relation of Social Anxiety with Risky Drinking

Article


Terlecki, M., Ecker, A. H. and Buckner, J. D. 2019. The Role of Underutilization of Protective Behavioral Strategies in the Relation of Social Anxiety with Risky Drinking. Addictive Behaviors.
AuthorsTerlecki, M., Ecker, A. H. and Buckner, J. D.
Abstract

Social anxiety is prominent among undergraduates and increases the risk of experiencing alcohol problems. In fact, social anxiety more than quadruples the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, yet it is inconsistently related to heavier drinking. Inconsistent findings may be due to lack of attention on protective behavioral strategies (PBS) among socially anxious drinkers. PBS are cognitive-behavioral strategies to reduce drinking and alcohol-related harm. Due to the nature of social anxiety, affected individuals may be especially vulnerable to PBS underutilization, leading to heavier and more problematic drinking. The current study examined the mediating role of PBS in the relationships of social anxiety with past-month drinking and alcohol problems using cross-sectional data among current (past-month) heavy undergraduate drinkers (N = 431). Social anxiety was significantly positively related to past-month alcohol problems and peak drinking. Social anxiety was significantly negatively related to typical drinking, drinking frequency, and PBSS Manner of Drinking. Social anxiety was indirectly (via PBSS Manner of Drinking) related to greater past-month peak drinks and more drinking problems. Findings suggest that socially anxious persons may be vulnerable to heavier and more problematic drinking due to PBS underutilization. Treatment implications are discussed.

JournalAddictive Behaviors
ISSN0306-4603
Year2019
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.106122
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.106122
Publication dates
Online05 Sep 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted04 Sep 2019
Deposited05 Sep 2019
FunderNational Institute on Drug Abuse
Copyright holder© 2019 Elsevier
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Accepted author manuscript

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