Alcohol expectancies and drinking behavior in adults with social anxiety disorder and dysthymia

Lindsay S. Ham, Debra A. Hope, Cameron S. White, P. Clayton Rivers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Previous research has found a positive relationship between social anxiety disorder and alcoholism, and that certain alcohol outcome expectancies are related to drinking behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among drinking behaviors and alcohol expectancies in treatment-seeking individuals diagnosed with social anxiety disorder or dysthymia, as well as normal controls. No significant differences were found across the 3 groups in alcohol consumption. As expected, socially anxious participants had higher social assertiveness expectancies than both participants with dysthymia and normal controls. Participants with social anxiety disorder had greater tension reduction and global positive change expectancies than the normal controls, but did not differ from participants with dysthymia. Additionally, the increased social assertiveness, tension reduction, and positive change expectancies were found to predict amount of drinking per month for socially anxious participants. Implications for understanding the relationship between social anxiety disorder and alcoholism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • alcohol
  • anxiety
  • expectancies
  • social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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