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The Impact of Negative Emotions on Drinking Among Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder in Daily Life: The Moderating Effect of Maladaptive Emotion Regulation Strategies

Abstract

Emerging evidence suggests that increased negative emotions and maladaptive emotion regulation (ER) strategies underlie social anxiety disorder (SAD) and alcohol related problems, but little is known about how specific negative emotions and maladaptive ER strategies interact with one another in predicting drinking in daily life. This study aimed to investigate (1) the impact of within-person level negative emotions and maladaptive ER strategies on drinking among individuals with SAD, and (2) the moderating effect of specific maladaptive ER strategies (avoidance, rumination, suppression) on the relationship between negative emotions and alcohol craving in daily life via an ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Results revealed that the SAD group (n = 66) showed a higher increase rate in alcohol craving when they were socially anxious, tense and lonely than the non-SAD group (n = 53). In moderation analyses, maladaptive ER strategies interacted with negative emotions in predicting alcohol craving and different patterns were observed between groups: rumination was a significant moderator for the SAD group, while avoidance was for the non-SAD group in both concurrent and lagged effect analyses. Implications for the future research and interventions on daily negative emotions and maladaptive ER strategies are discussed.

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Notes

  1. In group-difference analyses, SAD group showed lower levels of positive emotions including excitement and relaxation and less frequent use in adaptive ER strategies including social support seeking and acceptance, all ps < .05. However, there were no significant group differences in calm and positive reinterpretation. Results from multilevel modeling analyses on the positive emotion experiences and adaptive ER strategies are available upon request.

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Kim, S., Kwon, JH. The Impact of Negative Emotions on Drinking Among Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder in Daily Life: The Moderating Effect of Maladaptive Emotion Regulation Strategies. Cogn Ther Res 44, 345–359 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-019-10045-8

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Keywords

  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Drinking
  • Negative emotions
  • Emotion regulation (ER)
  • Ecological momentary assessment (EMA)