Dysmorphic appearance concern and hazardous alcohol use in university students

the mediating role of alcohol expectancies

Mitchell Cunningham*, Lexine Stapinski, Scott Griffiths, Andrew Baillie

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: A paucity of research has examined the link between body image concerns and alcohol use in university students. Individuals with elevated body image concerns may use alcohol due to the endorsement of expectancies that alcohol will reduce discomfort deriving from appearance concerns. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the how the link between body image concerns (i.e., dysmorphic appearance concerns) and hazardous alcohol use may be accounted for by alcohol-related expectancies. Method: Participants were 138 undergraduates (74% male) who completed an online survey that gauged dysmorphic appearance concern, alcohol use, and alcohol-related expectancies. Results: Results not only showed a link between dysmorphic appearance concern and hazardous alcohol use, but that the link between the constructs was partially mediated by positive alcohol expectancies. Moreover, individuals with elevated dysmorphic appearance concern appeared to use alcohol for their perceived sexual facilitation benefits and providing "liquid courage." Conclusions: Therapies aimed at reducing hazardous alcohol use may benefit from targeting positive alcohol expectancies in young adults with elevated dysmorphic appearance concern.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)424-432
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Psychologist
    Volume52
    Issue number6
    Early online date2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Keywords

    • alcohol expectancies
    • alcohol use
    • body image
    • dysmorphic appearance concern

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