Social Anxiety and Alcohol-Related Problems: A Comparison Between College Students and Post-College Young Adults
A preponderance of research has explored the relationship between social anxiety and alcohol-related problems in college students often with a focus on the role of motivation for drinking, consumption levels, and alcohol-related outcome expectancies as factors in the relationship. Yet, to date, very limited research has explored whether co-morbidity between social anxiety and alcohol-related problems persist in older, post-college young adults or whether the factors that influence that relationship in college students persist in a post-college environment. The current study measured social anxiety, alcohol consumption, motives, expectations, related problems, and convivial drinking events in a sample of college students (18-22 year old) and post-college young adults (26-35 years old) as well as explored whether a unified model of the relationship could be found in either or both groups. Results indicated greater social anxiety in the college aged group and few differences in alcohol-related factors between groups. No relationship between social anxiety and alcohol-related problems was found in the college student group, while in the post-college young adult group, coping motives served as a suppressor to that relationship with gender moderating that mediation. Exploratory analysis revealed when controlling for age, gender moderated the relationship between social anxiety and alcohol-related problems through coping motives. These results may provide further evidence of the complexity of the relationship between social anxiety and alcohol-related problems as well as the importance of accounting for other factors, such as gender and age, when conceptualizing risk and treatment.
NotesDegree Awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University
Degree grantorAmerican University. Department of Psychology