•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Previous research shows that social anxiety and depression are associated with severe alcohol problems, and that drinking to cope mediates the relationship between suicidal ideation and alcohol problems. Most research has focused on drinking to cope with social anxiety or depression when the two conditions are singular. This study sought to establish a relationship between drinking to cope and comorbid depression and social anxiety. Participants’ levels of depression, social anxiety, and two measures of drinking to cope were assessed. I hypothesized that individuals who score high for depression and social anxiety (“comorbids”) would report drinking to cope more often than individuals who scored high for one disorder or the other (“singulars”) and than a control group of individuals who did not score high for either. The primary hypothesis was partially supported. The comorbid group scored significantly higher on the drinking to cope with anxiety measure, but there was no difference among the three groups on the measure that assessed drinking to cope with depression. Thus, it appears that the comorbid group’s tendency to drink to cope is more severe than individuals with singular depression or social anxiety, but that seems to be rooted more in social anxiety than depression. More research needs to be done to examine specific differences that exist between the comorbid and singular groups. Directions for future research are suggested.

Share

COinS