The relations of anxiety sensitivity, experiential avoidance, and alexithymic coping to young adults’ motivations for drinking

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APA Citation: 

Stewart, S. H., Zvolensky, M. J., & Eifert, G. H. (2002). The relations of anxiety sensitivity, experiential avoidance, and alexithymic coping to young adults’ motivations for drinking. Behavior Modification, 26, 274–296.

Type of Publication: 
ACT: Empirical
Abstract: 

The authors examined whether motivations for drinking alcohol are associated with the anxiety related dispositional tendencies of anxiety sensitivity, experiential avoidance, and alexithymic coping. The authors administered the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Experiential Avoidance Scale, 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Revised Drinking Motives Questionnaire, and a demographics questionnaire to 182 university drinkers. In multiple regressions, the dispositional factors significantly predicted the risky drinking motives of coping, enhancement, and conformity. Coping and enhancement motives were significantly predicted by experiential avoidance. Conformity motives were significantly and independently predicted by anxiety sensitivity and alexithymia. The process of experiential avoidance mediated the bivariate correlation between anxiety sensitivity and coping-motivated drinking to a greater extent than did the process of alexithymic coping. The authors discuss the observed relations in regard to the psychological functions of drinking behavior that may portend the development of heavy drinking and alcohol problems in dispositionally vulnerable individuals. They also review implications for refinements of behavior therapy for problem drinkers.

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