Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 874–883 | Cite as

Post-event Processing and Alcohol Intoxication: The Moderating Role of Social Anxiety

  • Avital OgniewiczEmail author
  • Emmanuel Kuntsche
  • Roisin M. O’Connor
Original Article


To resolve the mixed findings on the link between social anxiety (SA) and alcohol use, studies have examined the role of post-event processing (PEP), i.e., negative thinking about past social events. In a sample of 18–30 year olds (82% female) high (n = 40) and low (n = 49) in SA, the current 21-day study assessed the effect of PEP after social drinking events on subjective intoxication at the next social event. The moderating role of SA severity was tested. Compared to the low SA group, the high SA group reported overall more PEP but similar intoxication levels. Multilevel models supported a SA by PEP interactive effect on next-event intoxication, but for the high SA group only. Conditioned slopes revealed that within the high SA group, at − 1 SD elevated PEP predicted increased next-event intoxication. Thus, for those ‘moderate/high’ in SA, PEP after social drinking may increase risk for alcohol misuse.


Post-event processing Social anxiety Alcohol use Intoxication 



This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Doctoral Research Award #290988, New Investigator Award #122803, and Project Grant #115104.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Avital Ogniewicz, Emmanuel Kuntsche, and Roisin M. O’Connor declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Center for Alcohol Policy ResearchLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Behavioural Science InstituteRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

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