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Examining the Effects of Social Anxiety and Event-level Mood Changes on Alcohol Use in Young Adults


Examining the Effects of Social Anxiety and Event-level Mood Changes on Alcohol Use in Young Adults

Khan, Mayesha (2019) Examining the Effects of Social Anxiety and Event-level Mood Changes on Alcohol Use in Young Adults. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Background. According to self-medication theories, individuals high in social anxiety (SA) are at risk for misusing alcohol because of its anxiolytic effects. Consistent with dual process and delayed discounting theories, the immediate relief provided by alcohol initiation is central to explaining this risk pathway. Objective. Ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) were used to examine mood changes within a single drinking event, and to test whether these help explain SA risk for heavy alcohol use. Hypotheses. Those high in SA would show decreased anxious (tense) and (possibly) depressed (sad) mood and increased positive (happy) mood when they first initiate alcohol. Further, steeper mood changes would predict heavier alcohol use over the night. Method. Undergraduates (N=229, 154 women, Mage=20.5 years) completed self-reports (i.e., SA) during a lab baseline. This was followed by EMAs of mood and alcohol use on smartphones (hourly 6:00pm-1:00am; morning-after 12:00pm) over four consecutive weekends. Moods from the first three hours of drinking (pre-initiation, 1st-drink, post-initiation) were examined. Analyses. Multilevel growth models were estimated. Results. Elevated SA predicted high anxious, low positive, and high depressed pre-initiation mood. Elevated SA predicted a steeper decrease in anxious (but not positive or depressed) mood across the three time-points. Within-person analyses revealed that a steeper decrease in anxious and a steeper increase in positive mood were associated with increased alcohol use over the night. Conclusion. Consistent with hypotheses, the results suggest that the initial anxiolytic effects of alcohol - i.e., emotional relief – may account for SA risk for alcohol misuse. Gender differences are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Khan, Mayesha
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:2 July 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):O'Connor, Roisin M
Keywords:social anxiety, alcohol use, EMA, mood, multilevel growth models
ID Code:985567
Deposited By: MAYESHA KHAN
Deposited On:05 Feb 2020 03:00
Last Modified:16 Feb 2021 23:28


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