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Drinking away anxiety -- a new program finds safer ways for college students to cope
Date:11/26/2007

or more drinks for women, five or more drinks for men), occasional to frequent drinking problems and discomfort from social anxiety in the month before entering this program, which resulted in 22 participants.

The intervention program consisted of three sessions (one session per week, running about an hour-and-a-half) with the first session exploring the participants history of social anxiety and alcohol use and personal feedback on how the two could be interlinked. The second session examined social anxiety, drinking-related problems and family risk factors for both problems. The third session involved role-playing in a social situation with a research assistant, which provided the student with tools to effectively cope with anxiety while managing alcohol consumption. Follow-up meetings were conducted one month and four months after the series of three sessions.

Tran says in the follow-up sessions, students reported a significant reduction in number of drinks consumed and in bouts of heavy drinking. Students also reported that they werent as fearful about being judged negatively by their peers, a common trigger for social anxiety. There was also a significant increase in the students confidence about turning down a drink around other people who were drinking.

While prior studies have shown that a brief intervention using motivational interviewing helps reduce alcohol consumption or alcohol-related problems among college students, this study is the first to add strategies for coping with social anxiety in relation to alcohol intervention for college students, says Tran.

Based on the preliminary results of the intervention program, Tran says UC researchers are now seeking additional funding to conduct a large-scale clinical trial on the findings.


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Contact: Dawn Fuller
dawn.fuller@uc.edu
513-556-1823
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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