Although research has documented robust prospective relationships between externalizing symptomatology and subsequent binge drinking among adolescents, the extent to which internalizing symptoms increase risk for drinking remains controversial. In particular, the role of anxiety as a predictor of binge drinking remains unclear. Recent evidence suggests that one possible reason for these mixed findings is that separate dimensions of anxiety may differentially confer risk for alcohol use. The present study tested two dimensions of anxiety - worry and physiological anxiety -- as predictors of binge drinking in a longitudinal study of juvenile delinquents. Overall, results indicate that worry and physiological anxiety showed differential relations with drinking behavior. In general, worry was protective against alcohol use, whereas physiological anxiety conferred risk for binge drinking, but both effects were conditional on levels of offending. Implications for future research examining the role of anxiety in predicting drinking behavior among youth are discussed.
- Different dimensions of anxiety differentially predict binge drinking among juvenile offenders