Heavy drinking among college students is influenced by anxiety sensitivity, gender, and contexts for alcohol use


In order to quantify relationships between anxiety sensitivity and situational antecedents to heavy alcohol consumption, 245 university student drinkers completed the anxiety sensitivity index-revised (ASI-R) and the inventory of drinking situations (IDS-42). The observed correlations indicated that anxiety sensitivity is related to negatively reinforced drinking, positively reinforced drinking, and temptation-motivated drinking. However, anxiety sensitivity is most clearly implicated as a factor in negatively reinforced drinking, i.e., drinking followed by 'tension reduction.' Additionally, the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and negatively reinforced drinking is stronger among males than among females. The results point to anxiety sensitivity and gender as interacting individual difference variables that influence incidence of negatively reinforced heavy drinking among college students. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Anxiety Disorders