Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

2018

Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan

Abstract

Understanding the relationship between social anxiety and problematic drinking is a difficult task. Studies examining this relationship have commonly found a positive correlation between social anxiety and drinking behaviors, although the literature is marked by mixed results. If social anxiety does positively predict alcohol use, then what accounts for this relationship? Some researchers posit that alcohol outcome expectancies may be a mediator for this relationship. Alcohol outcome expectancies specific to the context of social evaluative situations may be a stronger mediator than general alcohol outcome expectancies. A study to test this mediation was conducted with xxx undergraduate students. Results showed that alcohol outcome expectancies specific to socially evaluative situations significantly mediated the relationship between social anxiety and problematic drinking. Also, alcohol outcome expectancies specific to socially evaluative situations was a stronger mediator in the relationship between social anxiety and problematic drinking than general positive alcohol outcome expectancies. Regression analyses showed that after controlling for social anxiety and demographic variables, fear of negative and fear of positive evaluation were not significant predictors of problematic drinking, though alcohol outcomes expectancies specific to socially evaluative situations remained a significant predictor.

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