Research & Resources

Desire to Drink and Social Stress Among Adolescents

This study tested whether a history of social anxiety was positively correlated with alcohol-related cognitions following laboratory-induced social stress, whether state anxiety was positively correlated with alcohol-related cognitions, and whether the nature of the stressor (performance versus rejection) impacted the strength of identified relations. Participants were 114 adolescents, randomly assigned to either a performance- or rejection-oriented task. Findings indicated that history of social anxiety symptoms was positively correlated with state anxiety elicited by both tasks. Further, a history of social anxiety symptoms was not related to a change in the desire to drink but was positively related to the belief that alcohol “would make me feel better.” State anxiety was positively related to both a desire to drink and relief outcome expectancies across both tasks. Findings support the contention that socially oriented distress may be a developmentally relevant, malleable target for prevention efforts aimed at problematic alcohol use among adolescents.
This paper, “Desire to drink as a function of laboratory-induced social stress among adolescents,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.
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