Gerhards, Ricarda (2015). Effects of alcohol on dating anxiety and on post-event processing. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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Background: Increased comorbidity between social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder is often explained by the self-medication hypothesis, claiming that alcohol is consumed because of its negatively reinforcing quality. However, findings looking at the anxiety reduction using alcohol in formal speech situations are inconsistent. Furthermore, effects of alcohol on post-event processing have not yet been investigated, but may also motivate alcohol use in social situations. Objectives: Investigation of the effects of alcohol on anxiety within and after an informal social situation as well as on post-event processing. Methods: 122 participants (61 high socially anxious) joined a blind date after either drinking cranberry juice, placebo or alcohol, followed by a standardized social feedback. Self-reported anxiety was assessed directly after and one day after the blind date. Memory for feedback was assessed five minutes after and the day after the date. Results: Alcohol reduces anxiety within the social situation, for both high and normal socially anxious participants. There is also a trend to remember the social feedback more positively under the influence of alcohol, reflecting reduced negatively biased post-event processing. Limitations: Participants were not suffering from an alcohol use disorder and were not diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Conclusions: Self-medication is assumed to work effectively within an informal social situation. Effects on post-event processing must further be assessed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Gerhards, Ricardaricarda.gerhards@uni-koeln.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-68672
Date: October 2015
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Human Sciences > Department Psychologie
Subjects: Psychology
no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
social anxiety disorder, post-event processing, alcohol use disorder, dating anxietyUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 27 January 2016
NameAcademic Title
Gerlach, Alexander L.Prof. Dr.
Döpfner, ManfredProf.Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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