Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Robert C. Schlauch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark S. Goldman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Falon R. Goodman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Judith B. Bryant, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brent J. Small, Ph.D.


Social Anxiety Disorder, Alcohol Use Disorder, Alcohol Administration, Social Stressor


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are two of the most common and chronic psychiatric conditions in the United States. Research indicates individuals with SAD are more likely to meet lifetime criteria for AUD and experience greater AUD symptomatology and severity. Theories explaining this connection are limited, with most built upon tension reduction principles not specific to SAD; however, a recent biopsychosocial model focuses on factors specific to SAD, such as drinking to cope with states of high negative affectivity and arousal. Despite high rates of comorbidity, and more severe AUD presentation, the literature is mixed regarding social anxiety and alcohol consumption. Some have found positive, others negative, and many no association at all. One potential moderator that may help understand these inconsistent findings is alcohol expectancies. The current study recruited 52 undergraduate students to test the hypothesis that sociability expectancies would moderate the effect of social anxiety on ad-lib drinking following a social stressor; this hypothesis was not supported. Exploratory analyses found positive affect significantly moderated the effect of social anxiety on alcohol consumption. Consistent with the biopsychosocial model, among those with low positive affect social anxiety was positively associated with alcohol consumption; among those with high positive affect the association was negative, suggesting that positive anxiety may serve as a protective factor against alcohol consumption in socially anxious individuals. Further research is needed that includes individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for SAD, as well as experimental conditions with control groups, to clarify these results.

Included in

Psychology Commons