Anxiety sensitivity, self-reported motives for alcohol and nicotine use, and level of consumption

Amber Novak, Ellen S. Burgess, Matthew Clark, Michael J. Zvolensky, Richard A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


We examined the relationship between anxiety sensitivity, alcohol and nicotine use, and drinking and smoking motives in a nonclinical university population. Participants (n=293) completed the 16-item Anxiety Sensitivity (AS) Index and a drinking and smoking history questionnaire. Sixty percent of participants completed the Drinking Motives Questionnaire and 29% completed the Smoking Motives Questionnaire. Level of alcohol and cigarette consumption was not related to AS but was related to motives. AS was directly related to coping-related drinking and moderated the relationship between level of smoking and mood-related smoking motives. Although AS may be more predictive of coping-related drinking motives than of level of alcohol consumption, given the relationship between these types of drinking motives and abusive drinking, high AS individuals might be an at-risk group due to their reasons for drinking. In addition, striking differences were found between drinkers who smoke and those who do not smoke, suggesting that this subgroup may also represent an at-risk group of drinkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of anxiety disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Nicotine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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