The Effect of Anxiety on Self-Disclosure of Alcohol Use

Jacob Levine


Co-occurring alcohol use and anxiety disorders are prevalent in the general population, significantly associated with increased severity of symptoms and lower rates of treatment seeking.1 Anxious individuals fearing negative evaluation are often unlikely to disclose their symptoms, leading to more negative outcomes2; some patients are less likely to disclose alcohol use depending on the situation.3 It is hypothesized that individuals experiencing higher levels of state anxiety will report less alcohol use and related problems on the AUDIT. It is also hypothesized that individuals experiencing higher social anxiety will report lower AUDIT scores. Participants were 157 undergraduate students from a small liberal arts university in California (119 females and 38 males) with a mean age of 21.47 (SD = 5.41), randomly assigned to three groups: control, low anxiety, or the high anxiety group. Anxiety was manipulated by having subjects view and rate photographs from the Geneva Affective Picture Database.4 Subjects completed the Six-Item State Anxiety Scale5, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test6, the Six-Item Social Interaction Anxiety and Six-Item Social Phobia Scales7, and the GAD-7 used to asses general anxiety.8 The findings did not confirm the original hypothesis: all groups reported statistically equal AUDIT scores. The secondary hypothesis was partially supported: socially anxiety was negatively correlated with alcohol consumption


Alcohol, Anxiety, Disclosure

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