Effects of anxiety sensitivity on cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine use among adolescents: evaluating pathways through anxiety, withdrawal symptoms, and coping motives

Ashley A. Knapp*, Nicholas P. Allan, Renee Cloutier, Heidemarie Blumenthal, Shahrzad Moradi, Alan J. Budney, Sarah E. Lord

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is a promising intervention target due to its relevance to negative health behaviors broadly, and substance use specifically. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the direct and indirect pathways through which elevated AS could relate to recent substance use among a national adolescent sample recruited via social-media. As predicted, AS was indirectly associated with greater likelihood of using alcohol, cigarettes, and electronic nicotine delivery systems in the past-month through anxiety symptoms. Regarding cannabis, AS was directly related to increased likelihood of past-month cannabis use; however, the indirect relation between AS and likelihood of past-month use via anxiety symptoms was not significant. Through chained indirect effects, AS was related positively to past-month alcohol and cannabis use via anxiety symptoms and coping-related motives, and through withdrawal symptoms and coping-related motives. Study findings can be used to generate hypotheses on potential pathways through which AS could prospectively relate to substance use among youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-201
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Cannabis
  • Marijuana
  • Nicotine
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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