Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Nancy Kocovski

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Previous reserach has found a positive relationship between social anxiety and rumination. A positive relationship has also been found between social anxiety and alcohol use in clinical samples. The current study investigated how alcohol affected levels of rumination in socially anxious and non-socially anxious individuals. It was expected that consuming alcohol would decrease levels of rumination in socially anxious individuals. Eighty male participants were recuited (38 high in social anxiety and 42 low in social anxiety). Most participants were White (86%), students (78%), who ranged in age from 19 to 69 (M=22 years). Individuals were randomly assigned to an alcohol or no alcohol condition, and then took part in an anxiety-provoking social interaction with a confederate. One week later, their levels of rumination were measured in response to the social interaction. Results indicated that those high in social anxiety had similar levels of typical alcohol consumption to those low in social anxiety. Main effects were found for anxiety condition, indicating that those high in anxiety had higher levels of state social anxiety during the social interaction and higher levels of rumination after the social interaction. However, no main effects were found for the alcohol condition, indicating that alcohol did not have an effect on state social anxiety as most theories would predict and alcohol did not affect levels of rumination as was hypothesized. This research is applicable to treatment programs aimed at helping individuals with social anxiety and/or alcohol use problems.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons