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Promoting Self-Change in Alcohol and Social Anxiety

Grant Winners

  • Christian DeLucia, Ph.D.
  • Craig Marker, Ph.D.


  • Karen Grosby, M.Ed.


Award Winners

The purpose of this research grant proposal is to investigate the change mechanism in people being treated for social anxiety and alcohol use. Given the high comorbidity between alcohol use and anxiety disorders, further research is needed to determine the most effective intervention for this population to reduce the symptomatology of both disorders. This study relies on motivational, cognitive-behavioral and informational strategies to assist the person in reducing alcohol use and social anxiety behaviors. It will be conducted through the internet and by telephone. This procedure allows us to best identify people who might not be willing to come into treatment for social anxiety or problematic alcohol use due to social fears or perceived stigma of alcohol-related problems. Specifically, we are interested in what components of treatment are most helpful and which ordering of treatments work best. The between subjects independent variable in this study has four levels (motivational enhancement alcohol treatment followed by manualized cognitive behavioral social anxiety treatment, manualized cognitive behavioral social anxiety treatment followed by motivational enhancement alcohol treatment, an integrated treatment that addresses both social anxiety and alcohol use, and an information only control group). Each person will be randomly assigned to one of these four groups. The timeline followback and the Brief Social Phobia Scale will be used as primary outcome measures to monitor drinking and social anxiety symptoms over the course of treatment. We will specifically focus on modeling how change occurs in each of the variables across time. Specifically, we are interested in the dynamic process of change. That is, does the person benefit from change in substance use prior to change in social anxiety (or the reciprocal relationship). Furthermore, multiple individual difference factors will also be utilized to determine for whom this type of innovative internet-based treatment works.

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