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Addict Behav. 2018 Jan;76:182-187. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.08.020. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Drinking to cope with depression mediates the relationship between social avoidance and alcohol problems: A 3-wave, 18-month longitudinal study.

Author information

1
Dalhousie University, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, 1355 Oxford Street, PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada. Electronic address: Jamie.l.collins@dal.ca.
2
Saint Francis Xavier University(,) Psychology Department(,) Annex, 125, Antigonish, Nova Scotia B2G 2W5, Canada.
3
Dalhousie University, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, 1355 Oxford Street, PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada.
4
Dalhousie University, Department of Psychiatry, 5909 Veteran's Memorial Lane, 8th Floor, Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2E2, Canada; Dalhousie University, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, 1355 Oxford Street, PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada.

Abstract

Undergraduates with high social anxiety have increased alcohol problems, despite lower or equivalent alcohol use levels. Drinking motives mediate the cross-sectional relationship between social anxiety and alcohol problems, with coping and conformity motives being the most commonly observed mediators. Our study extended prior research by using a longitudinal design, examining coping with anxiety motives (CAM) and coping with depression motives (CDM) separately using path analysis, simultaneously considering a variety of drinking motives in the model, and focusing on a particularly severe form of social anxiety - namely, social avoidance. We collected data from 219 undergraduates (72.6% women, mean age of 20.59years) over three waves spaced six months apart. Results indicated CDM mediated the prospective relationship between social avoidance and alcohol problems. Findings suggest socially avoidant students' escalations in CDM explain their increased alcohol problems over time. Future research should examine involvement of depression and social isolation in contributing to this pathway to alcohol problems.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol problems; Drinking motives; Social avoidance; Undergraduates

PMID:
28846938
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.08.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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