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, 39 (8), 1243-8

The Mediating Role of Depression in the Relationship Between Anxiety Sensitivity and Alcohol Dependence

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The Mediating Role of Depression in the Relationship Between Anxiety Sensitivity and Alcohol Dependence

William V Lechner et al. Addict Behav.

Abstract

Background: Many studies have reported that Anxiety Sensitivity (AS) is positively associated with alcohol use or other alcohol-related variables. More recent mediator and moderator models have shown promise in elucidating mechanisms within this relationship; the literature to date suggests that the relationship between AS and alcohol is likely mediated by problematic coping motives. However, few studies have considered the effects of depression within the AS-alcohol use relationship, despite a strong body of evidence linking AS to subsequent depression and depression to subsequent alcohol use problems, independently. Therefore, the current study assessed depression as a potential mediator of this relationship.

Method: Participants were 418 sequential admissions to a substance abuse treatment facility. A mediation analysis using bootstrapping was utilized in order to estimate indirect effects of AS on alcohol dependence through depression.

Results: Results reveal an indirect effect suggesting that the effects of anxiety sensitivity on alcohol dependence are mediated by symptoms of depression. More specifically, the effects of AS total score and AS somatic sensations on alcohol dependence were mediated by symptoms of depression. Lastly, a dual mediator model demonstrated that both depression and problematic coping uniquely mediate the relationship between AS and alcohol dependence.

Conclusions: While preliminary in nature, the current study provides evidence supporting the hypothesis that depression is an important factor to consider when examining the relationship between AS and alcohol dependence.

Keywords: Alcohol dependence; Anxiety; Anxiety sensitivity; Depression; Mediation.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest Declaration: None

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Depression and problematic coping as dual mediators of the relationship between anxiety sensitivity-total and alcohol dependence (model 1) and between anxiety sensitivity- somatic and alcohol dependence (model 2). Unstandardized path coefficients are presented. Significant coefficients are indicated by bold paths and * for p<.05 and ** for p<.01. All specific indirect effects through depression and problematic coping are significant.
Figure 1
Figure 1
Depression and problematic coping as dual mediators of the relationship between anxiety sensitivity-total and alcohol dependence (model 1) and between anxiety sensitivity- somatic and alcohol dependence (model 2). Unstandardized path coefficients are presented. Significant coefficients are indicated by bold paths and * for p<.05 and ** for p<.01. All specific indirect effects through depression and problematic coping are significant.

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