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Journal Article


Caumiant EP, Fairbairn CE, Bresin K, Gary Rosen I, Luczak SE, Kang D. Addict. Behav. 2023; 143: e107672.


(Copyright © 2023, Elsevier Publishing)






Research has identified social anxiety as a risk factor for the development of alcohol use disorder. However, studies have produced equivocal findings regarding the relationship between social anxiety and drinking behaviors in authentic drinking environments. This study examined how social-contextual features of real-world drinking contexts might influence the relationship between social anxiety and alcohol consumption in everyday settings. At an initial laboratory visit, heavy social drinkers (N = 48) completed the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale. Participants were then outfitted with a transdermal alcohol monitor individually-calibrated for each participant via laboratory alcohol-administration. Over the next seven days, participants wore this transdermal alcohol monitor and responded to random survey prompts (6x/day), during which they provided photographs of their surroundings. Participants then reported on their levels of social familiarity with individuals visible in photographs. Multilevel models indicated a significant interaction between social anxiety and social familiarity in predicting drinking, b = -0.004, p =.003 Specifically, among participants higher in social anxiety, drinking increased as social familiarity decreased b = -0.152, p <.001, whereas among those lower in social anxiety, this relationship was non-significant, b = 0.007, p =.867. Considered alongside prior research, findings suggest that the presence of strangers within a given environment may play a role in the drinking behavior of socially anxious individuals.

Language: en


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