Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan


Social anxiety and problematic drinking are among the most prevalent disorders present in the college population. Having one or both of these disorders while in college can be detrimental to academic performance and can increase dropout rates. Social anxiety has been found to precede problematic drinking in previous research. The purpose of this study was to help determine what variables may explain this relationship (i.e., mediators). The current study tested whether emotion regulation difficulties, drinking motives, alcohol outcome expectancies, and self-discrepancy mediated the relationship between social anxiety and problematic drinking among college undergraduates (N = 135). Results indicated that emotion regulation difficulties partially mediates the relationship between social anxiety and dependence symptoms. Thus, individuals who experience social anxiety symptoms and have greater difficulties regulating their emotions could be at risk for developing problematic drinking. Therefore, emotion regulation difficulties should be considered in alcohol treatment and prevention programs targeting the college population.