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The relationship between social anxiety and alcohol use in remand prisoners
conference contributionposted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kathleen Moore, J Godfredson
Community studies have found a consistently high co-occurrence, between alcohol use and anxiety disorders, such as social phobia. Despite high prevalence rates of alcohol use and anxiety disorders in remand prisoners, the extent to which they co-occur in this population and the use of alcohol as a strategy to reduce social anxiety, have not been examined. The aim of this study was to assess levels of social phobia and the use of alcohol to reduce anxiety associated with social and performance situations in a remanded prison population. One hundred and one male prisoners (age M = 34.88 years, SD = 11.70) participated in the study. They completed the Social Phobia Inventory (SoPhI) and a questionnaire designed to assess levels of drinking in social and performance situations to reduce anxiety. High levels of social anxiety were found, together with high levels of drinking to reduce anxiety associated with social or performance situations. Drinking was predictive of reduced levels of social anxiety but the effect of social anxiety on drinking was stronger. The implications for treatment and future research are discussed.