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Separate Dimensions of Anxiety Differentially Predict Alcohol Use Among Male Juvenile Offenders

NCJ Number
Addictive Behaviors Volume: 50 Dated: November 2015 Pages: 144-148
B. Nichter; L. Chassin
Date Published
November 2015
5 pages
This study tested two dimensions of anxiety, worry, and physiological anxiety symptoms as predictors of alcohol use and misuse in a longitudinal sample of juvenile offenders.
Although research has documented robust prospective relationships between externalizing symptomatology and subsequent adolescent alcohol use, the extent to which internalizing symptoms such as anxiety may increase risk for alcohol consumption remains controversial. Recent evidence suggests that one possible reason for mixed findings is that separate dimensions of anxiety differentially confer risk for alcohol use. The current study found that physiological anxiety and worry symptoms showed differential relations with alcohol-use risk. Physiological anxiety was positively associated with increased risk for typical alcohol involvement, frequency of binge drinking, and alcohol dependence symptoms; whereas, worry was negatively associated with all alcohol-use outcomes. These findings underscore the importance of considering anxiety as a multidimensional construct when examining the prospective relation between anxiety and adolescent alcohol-use risk. Participants were 818 male juvenile offenders drawn from a larger multi-site, longitudinal study. Zero-inflated Poisson regression models estimated the influence of anxiety symptoms on typical drinking quantity, frequency of binge drinking, and alcohol dependence symptoms. (Publisher abstract modified)