Why Students Drink: Testing a Conceptual Model of How Social Anxiety and Drinking Motives Influence Drinking

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Strickland, Noelle




Socially anxious students may be at risk for heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems (e.g., injuries), because they may endorse more maladaptive drinking motives, such as drinking to cope with their anxiety or to conform to peer-pressure (Hingson et al., 2005). This study assessed two conceptual models: 1) whether social anxiety predicts drinking motives, which in turn predict alcohol-outcomes (i.e., a mediation model), and 2) whether social anxiety exacerbates the effect of drinking motives on alcohol-outcomes (i.e., moderation model). Undergraduates (N = 387) completed an online survey, and of these n = 76 completed a follow-up brief survey study. Both surveys assessed social anxiety, drinking motives, and alcohol-outcomes. Results showed that coping and conformity motives explained the associations between social anxiety and alcohol-related problems, and coping motives explained the association between social anxiety and heavy drinking.

Keywords: social anxiety; drinking motives; heavy drinking; alcohol-related problems; brief surveys; university students. 


Psychology - Developmental




Carleton University

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