ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Alcohol use disorder is a condition that develops as a result of problematic alcohol use. The study examined the relationship between social anxiety and self-compassion among persons with alcohol use disorder in the three main psychiatric hospitals and an alcohol rehabilitation centre in Ghana. The study employed a correlational design and used purposive sampling in obtaining its participants. Sixty participants were involved in the study and Frequencies and Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient were used to analyse the data. The findings revealed that social anxiety was highly prevalent among participants and moderate level of self-compassion was observed. A highly significant inverse relationship between social anxiety and self-compassion was also found. The sample size and the use of an adapted version of the self-compassion scale are considered limitations for the study. Also, persons with alcohol use disorders in the study were addicted to at least one other psychoactive substance and this was also considered a limitation of the study.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Accelerat ing the world's research.
Social Anxiety and Self-Compassion
in Persons with Alcohol Use Disorders
in Ghana
George Ekem-Ferguson
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science
Cite this paper
Get the citation in MLA, APA, or Chicago styles
Downloaded from
Related papers
“Tougher than ever”: An exploration of relapse prevent ion st rategies among pat ient s recoveri
Pet er O Ndaa
Relat ionship bet ween Family Flexibility and Subst ance Use Disorders among the Youth in Selected Re
Joyzy P Egunjobi
Government Sponsorship of Pilgrimage in Nigeria: The Implicat ion to a Challenging Economy
Download a PDF Pack of the best related papers
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume V, Issue I, January 2021|ISSN 2454-6186 Page 563
Social Anxiety and Self-Compassion in Persons with
Alcohol Use Disorders in Ghana
Marie Pearl Agordzo1*, Joseph Kwarteng Ofosuhene-Mensah2, Kofi Krafona3 and George Ekem-Ferguson4
1,2,3 Department of Education and Psychology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
4Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Accra-Ghana
Corresponding Author*
Abstract: Alcohol use disorder is a condition that develops as a
result of problematic alcohol use. The study examined the
relationship between social anxiety and self-compassion among
persons with alcohol use disorder in the three main psychiatric
hospitals and an alcohol rehabilitation centre in Ghana. The
study employed a correlational design and used purposive
sampling in obtaining its participants. Sixty participants were
involved in the study and Frequencies and Pearson’s product-
moment correlation coefficient were used to analyse the data.
The findings revealed that social anxiety was highly prevalent
among participants and moderate level of self-compassion was
observed. A highly significant inverse relationship between social
anxiety and self-compassion was also found. The sample size and
the use of an adapted version of the self-compassion scale are
considered limitations for the study. Also, persons with alcohol
use disorders in the study were addicted to at least one other
psychoactive substance and this was also considered a limitation
of the study.
Keywords: Alcohol use disorder, social anxiety, self-compassion.
lcohol is a psychoactive substance that has benefits
which cannot be overemphasized. Its use cuts across
gender, culture and race with its medicinal value reported
(Stolberg, 2006). Even though the benefits of alcohol have
been acknowledged (Dunbar, Launay, Wlodarski, Robertson,
Pearce, Carney et. al., 2016), its harmful effects have also
been documented. The harmful effects of alcohol have been
implicated in every 1 out 20 deaths in 2016 and more than 5%
of the global disease burden (World Health Organisation
(WHO), 2018). In Ghana, it has been estimated that about 1.2
million people suffer from alcohol and other drug related
problems (Ofori-Atta, Read & Lund, 2010).
Alcohol use disorder has been defined by Kranzler and Soyka
(2018) as a problematic pattern of compulsive and
uncontrolled alcohol use associated with clinically significant
impairment or distress as defined by the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders V (DSM V). The
DSM V spells out eleven criteria and requires that a person
meets at least two out of these eleven criteria to merit the
diagnosis of alcohol use disorder. However, the severity of the
condition depends on number of criteria the person meets
(APA, 2013).
Alcohol has been found to cause neuroadaptive changes to the
brain upon continual usage (Koob & Le Moal, 2008). This
explains alcohol as a psychoactive substance that could serve
both physiological and psychological purposes for its users
(Dunbar, Launay, Wlodarski, Robertson, Pearce, Carney et.
al., 2016). One of these purposes is the anxiolytic effect of the
substance. This property of alcohol provides an avenue for
people who experience physiological or psychological
symptoms of anxiety to experience a feeling of relaxation
especially in situations that trigger anxiety.
Social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder described by the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders V to
be marked with fear or anxiety about one or more social
situations in which the individual is exposed to possible
scrutiny by others (APA, 2013). The individual fears he or she
may act in a way or show anxiety symptoms that will be
embarrassing and humiliating. Social anxiety has been found
to have comorbidity with alcohol use disorder and as such
common among people with alcohol use disorder (Clarke &
Sayette, 1993: Kushner, Abrams & Borchardt, 2000: Randall,
2000: Schellekens, De Jong, Buitelaar & Verkes, 2014). The
World Health Organisation (2019) report on harmful use of
alcohol indicated that persons with alcohol use disorders who
have comorbid anxiety disorders are likely to relapse during
the first three months of treatment.
In Africa and specifically Ghana alcohol was used as an
expression of masculinity and was consumed by the affluent,
people who had status and were of a high social class in
society (Akyeampong, 1995). In recent times, this trend has
changed significantly. The marketing of alcoholic beverages
has seen a spike in media advertisement. This is due to the
absence of an implemented national policy on alcohol (WHO,
2011). Commercials in the media portray alcohol as a need
with celebrities and high profile personalities playing major
roles. Currently, there are variety of these alcoholic beverages
on the Ghanaian market and each portrays its potency without
disclosing the long term effects. These drinks are also
relatively more affordable than most soft drinks on the market
(Barry, Johnson, Rabre, Darville, Donova & Efunbumi, 2015).
These, coupled with the upsurge of numerous bars and spots
has seen the easy availability of the substance and lot of
patronage by even the unemployed youth.
Similar to most psychological conditions, alcohol use disorder
is not a mere national problem but a global issue (Fisher,
Bang & Kapiga, 2007). However, in Ghana, alcohol use
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume V, Issue I, January 2021|ISSN 2454-6186 Page 564
disorder is often viewed as a moral problem and people in this
situation are often judged based on social values and are
perceived to have weak morals. The moral definition of the
condition often makes society critical of such persons with
labels such as ‘korinsani, dantorlor’ (literally meaning
drunkard) among others used to describe them. However, the
underlying cause of the condition includes mental health
related issues such as anxiety and depression (Appiah,
Danquah, Nyarko, Ofori-Atta & Aziato, 2017: Oppong-
Asante & Kugbey, 2019).
In the face of the challenges posed by definition of alcohol use
disorder in Ghana and the critical attitude towards alcohol use
disorder within the Ghanaian context, there is a need for
people with alcohol use disorder to find strategies to cope
with their situation. This is particularly because their
condition is one that is often looked upon generally with
disdain. One of these strategies is to develop self-compassion.
Neff (2004) opined that self-compassion is an emotional
regulation strategy where people accept themselves in an
understanding, kind and humane way. This enables people
suffering various forms of psychological distress to view their
negative state in a positive light.
Neff (2009a) reported a link between self-compassion and
psychological health including happiness, conscientiousness,
optimism, decreased anxiety, depressive symptomology and
rumination. According to Neff self-compassion is the ability
to treat oneself with kindness, recognising one’s shared
humanity and being mindful when considering one’s negative
aspects. This eventually acts as a buffer against anxiety (Neff,
Kirkpatrick & Rude, 2007). Neff (2003a: 2003b) further
indicated being self-compassionate makes it less likely to use
alcohol to cope with anxiety.
Even though a few studies such as Akyeampong (1995) found
social anxiety to exist among persons with alcohol use
disorders in Ghana, there is the need to investigate the
prevalence of social anxiety among persons undergoing
treatment for alcohol use disorder. This is necessary because
relapse is common among such people (Appiah , Boakye,
Ndaa & Aziato, 2017) and social anxiety has been implicated
as a cause (World Health Organisation, 2019). There is also
the need to find out the prevalence of self-compassion among
these persons. This has become necessary as these people
would be integrated into communities after treatment with less
expectation of relapse and self-compassion could be beneficial
for such purpose (Neff, 2003a: 2003b). Knowledge from the
findings from this study would be beneficial to both
researchers and practitioners in the field of substance
disorders. Also, findings from the study would help the
Mental Health Authority and Drug Rehabilitation Homes
include appropriate and effective psychosocial skills into
treatment regimens to avoid relapse.
Design and setting
The study adopted a correlational design. This allowed for the
relationship between social anxiety and self-compassion to be
established among a clinical sample of persons with alcohol
use disorder. Data for the study was collected from Ankaful
Mental Hospital, Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Pantang Mental
Hospital and House of Saint Francis, a rehabilitation centre
where patients were receiving treatment.
This study received ethical clearance from the University of
Cape Coast Institutional Review Board. There were sixty (60)
participants obtained through purposive sampling for the
study. Sixteen (16) participants were obtained from Ankaful
Mental Hospital, six (6) from Accra Psychiatric Hospital,
twenty-one (21) from House of Saint Francis Rehab and
seventeen (17) from Pantang Mental Hospital. Each
participant in the study had to meet the requirements of an
inclusion criteria to be enrolled in the study. The criteria
detailed that a participant of the study should be clinically
diagnosed of alcohol use disorder from the clinical facility
without drug induced psychosis and should be in treatment for
at least a week.
To measure social anxiety, the Social Interaction Anxiety
Scale (SIAS) by Mattick and Clarke (1998) was adopted. The
instrument is a 20 item questionnaire on a 5 point Likert scale
ranging from ‘not at all’ to ‘extremely’. Mattick and Clark
found a strong internal consistency of ɑ = 0.84 in both clinical
and undergraduate samples. The Cronbach alpha for the scale
in the sample for this study was ɑ = 0.92. The scale has three
categorisations based on the scores obtained. The first
category involved people with normal level of anxiety with a
score of below 34, the second category involved persons who
obtained a score ranging from 34 to 42 and they were
categorised as social phobics while a score of 43 and above
indicated social anxiety.
In measuring self-compassion, the Self-Compassion Scale
developed by Neff (2003a) was adapted. The original
instrument consists of 26 items on a 5-point Likert scale
ranging from ‘almost never’ to ‘almost always’. It has six
facets that determine the presence or absence of self-
compassion. The facets are self-kindness, self-judgement,
common humanity, isolation, mindfulness and over
identification. The Self-Compassion scale used in this study
was an adaption of the original 26 items to a 23 item.
Cronbach alpha of the 23 item scale was found in the study to
be 0.7.
The items ‘When times are really difficult I tend to be tough
on myself’, ‘when I’m feeling down, I tend to feel like other
people are probably happier than I am’ and ‘when I fail at
something that is important to me, I tend to feel alone in my
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume V, Issue I, January 2021|ISSN 2454-6186 Page 565
failure’ were deleted. For the purpose of this work, the scale
had three categorisations, scores that were one standard
deviation below the mean were indicative of a low self-
compassion. Those that were one standard deviation above the
mean were also indicative of a high self-compassion, any
score that lied within the low or high self-compassion values
were indicative of a moderate self-compassion.
Table 1: Sample characteristics (N =60)
Below 30 years
31-40 years
41-50 years
51 years and above
Marital Status
Duration in Treatment
Below 4 weeks
5-6 weeks
7-8 weeks
9-10 weeks
11-12 weeks
13 weeks and above
aSample include 60 inpatients receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder
Table 2: Mean and Standard Deviations of Variables n = 60
Social Anxiety
Score of the participants on the social anxiety scale indicated
that majority of them experienced high social anxiety and
moderate self-compassion. The percentage distributions for
the social anxiety and self-compassion are represented on
figures I and II respectively. Figure I shows that 55 % of the
participants had social anxiety.
Figure I: Percentage Distribution of Social Anxiety
Figure II: Percentage Distribution of Self Compassion
The relationship between social anxiety (as measured by
Social Interaction Anxiety Scale) and self-compassion (as
measured by Self-Compassion Scale) was investigated using
the Pearson product moment correlation co -efficient.
Preliminary analyses were performed to ensure no violations
of assumption of normality, linearity and homoscedasticity.
There was a moderate significant negative relationship
between social anxiety and self-compassion, (r = -.44, n = 60,
p < 0.01), with high levels of social anxiety associated lower
levels of self-compassion. This implies that social anxiety is a
significant factor that influences self-compassion.
Interestingly, the correlation co-efficient (r2) between social
Social Phobia
Low sc
High sc
Low sc
ate sc
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume V, Issue I, January 2021|ISSN 2454-6186 Page 566
anxiety and self-compassion was 0.19 which implies that
social anxiety helps to explains nearly 19% of the variance in
participants score on self-compassion.
Table 3: Relationship between social anxiety and self-compassion
1. Social anxiety
2. Self-compassion
**correlation significant at 0.01
That majority of the participants were males and this finding
is consistent with the assertion of APA (2013) and
Akyeampong (1995) who argued that alcohol use disorder is a
male dominated condition and was used express power
especially for Ghanaian man respectively. Again, males are
expected to play major roles in their various families, societies
and communities compared to their female counterparts.
Magazine (2004) found that men are more likely to drink
heavily because drinking helps them to ignore responsibilities
especially domestic roles while women have also been found
to be less likely to drink because they are saddled with greater
domestic responsibilities (Ahlstrom, Bloomfield & Knibbe,
2001). Drinking may therefore hamper their efficiency in
carrying out the enormous demands and responsibilities they
must perform on a daily basis to run the home.
It must also be mentioned that the Ghanaian culture frowns on
female alcohol use especially when a female develops an
alcohol use disorder. Although women have been found to be
alcohol users with some having alcohol related problems in
Ghana (Agoabasa, 2012), cultural
expectations which frown on women alcohol use, limits
female drinking. Despite female occasional and low dose
drinking being permissible; females are subjected to severer
judgement when they develop alcohol use disorder.
Furthermore, women also go through periods of pregnancy
and child delivery at certain periods in their lives. These
periods are known to be very crucial and exposures to alcohol
have been found to have detrimental effects on the child
(WHO, 2016). This could possibly explain the gender
difference observed in the study.
It was found that younger persons were more implicated than
the elderly. Over 78% of the respondents were less than 41
years. This finding was similar to that found by Adu-Mireku
(2003) and Doku, Koivusilta and Rimpala (2012) as they
called the condition a growing concern in Ghana and said
concerted efforts was needed to curb the situation. This trend
was an emerging problem observed by the World Health
Organisation in 2011. They found that Ghanaian college
students ranked third in Africa for problematic alcohol use on
the continent. The WHO report was more disturbing as it
implicated persons in college who are expected to know the
devastating effects of alcohol and lead the campaign to
educate Ghanaians on the addictive nature of the substance
and the possible harm it causes in the long term.
It was again observed that most of the respondents in this
study were single compared to the married, divorced and
separated respondents. The distribution was a reflection of a
finding by Schonbrun, Zach, Stuart & Strong (2011). They
asserted that marriage was a buffer against alcohol use
disorder. Beig single is a state that could render one
vulnerable to alcohol use as the support married people may
obtain from their spouses in times of psychological distress
would be absent for these individuals. This could account for
the high frequency of single persons being implicated in the
condition. In addition to this, since the condition is morally
defined in the Ghanaian context, it is possible that people may
not want to marry with individuals perceived to have weak
The demographic data also provided information on
participants’ religion. A report from Ghana Statistical Service
(2013) indicates that most Ghanaians are religious and
indicate to state to be either Christians (71.2%) or Moslems
(17.6%) or the African Traditional Religion (5.2%). In a
similar sense, most of the respondents in the study were
Christians. This could be due to the greater proportion of the
Ghanaian populace being Christians. In addition to this,
Islamic religion compared to the Christian religion strongly
forbids the use of alcohol. It is also possible that the sufferers
of the condition in the Islamic religion may not want to
disclose their state in order to preserve their identity and
integrity as Moslems.
The study found that majority of the scores of participants
indicated social anxiety. This is supported by studies on
alcohol use disorder and social anxiety which indicate that
alcohol use disorder and social anxiety are usually comorbid
disorders (Kushner, Abrams & Borchardt, 2000; Clarke &
Sayette, 1993). Akyeampong (1996) also reported in his study
in Ghana that most people with social anxiety are highly
likely to use alcohol especially for the relaxing effects that
alcohol provides. It is also possible that persons with alcohol
use disorders have high social anxiety as a reaction to the
cultural outlook on the condition in Ghana.
It was also observed that majority of respondents scored
within the moderate range for self-compassion. This is an
indication of respondents’ empathy and kindness they
demonstrate towards themselves in spite of their condition. In
Ghana, chronic medical and psychological conditions
including alcohol use disorder have been given definitions
such as the supernatural which placed the individual at the
mercy of the ‘gods’ or a deity. In a study by Agoabasa (2012)
it was found that some persons with alcohol use disorder in
Ghana believed that a pot had been deposited in their belly
which called for the continual use of the substance. A spiritual
explanation as this makes it easy to empathise with oneself
and treat oneself with more kindness and concern as the
persons with alcohol use disorder perceive themselves as
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume V, Issue I, January 2021|ISSN 2454-6186 Page 567
victims of the condition. In another study by Appiah, Boakye,
Ndaa and Aziato (2017), they found spiritual explanations
being offered to the cause of substance abuse. This further
provides possible explanation to the moderate self-
compassion observed in the study.
A negative correlation between social anxiety and self-
compassion was observed in the study. A similar findig was
made by Werner, Jazaieri, Goldin, Ziv, Heimberg and Gross
(2012). They found that persons with social anxiety disorder
reported significantly lower scores on self-compassion than
healthy controls. In another study by Potter, Yar, Francis and
Schuster (2014), it was found that self-compassion negatively
correlated with social anxiety. Self-compassion has been
found to involve how an individual thinks of himself
considering his/her humanity and making allowances for
error. Self-compassionate thoughts and behaviours are
regarded to be positive and enhancing and they shield an
individual from engaging in counterproductive thoughts as a
result of being critical on oneself.
According to Leary, Tate, Adams, Allen and Hancook (2007)
people diagnosed of suffering from anxiety are often
cushioned against feelings of anxiety when they tend to be
self-compassionate even though they may keep the anxiety
provoking situations in focus. This result was found after their
subjects recalled an event that involved failure and
embarrassment. They found that after a treatment involving
self-compassionate meditation, these persons reported less
negative affect. In a recent study by Blackie and Kocovski
(2017) they found that social anxiety as measured by social
interaction anxiety scale and self-compassion as measured by
self-compassion scale were negatively correlated. These
studies suggest that self-compassion provided a buffer against
the feeling of social anxiety disorder and was similarly
reported in this study.
People experiencing social anxiety are often preoccupied with
self-defeating thoughts which lies parallel to those in self-
compassion. Having mentioned this, it is worthy to note that
even though the Ghanaian culture is lenient with alcohol use,
it frowns on people with alcohol use disorder. Such persons
are often considered as moral failures and social misfits.
These individuals are likely to respond based on this cultural
and societal judgement and tend to be critical of themselves,
eventually avoid instances that puts them in the public space
for fear of being negatively evaluated. This puts such persons
at risk of developing social anxiety disorder and consequently
uses alcohol or possibly relapses. In the absence of the skill of
being self-compassionate, this phenomenon hampers the
efforts of both the patients and the clinicians or counsellors as
relapse becomes inevitable.
Based on the high prevalence of social anxiety observed from
the results of the study and the effect of social anxiety on the
success of treatment and relapse prevention, it is necessary
that clinicians and counsellors attending to people with
alcohol use disorder inculcate self-compassion meditation
skills in the treatment regimen. This is to act as a cushion for
these persons especially after treatment in order to limit the
occurrence of relapse.
Alcohol use disorder is a condition that develops as a result of
problematic alcohol use which has far reaching psychological
consequences on the individual and society. Our study found
a high prevalence of social anxiety to exist among persons
with alcohol use disorders in Ghana, with moderate levels of
self-compassion. The study further found a significant
negative relationship between social anxiety and self-
compassion among persons with alcohol use in Ghana.
Considering the high prevalence of social anxiety observed in
the findings of this study, the study recommended that self-
compassion meditation exercises are included in the treatment
of persons with alcohol use disorders. It is also recommended
that further studies be conducted to find the influence of social
anxiety on self-efficacy to resist alcohol among persons with
alcohol use disorders in Ghana.
[1] Adu-Mireku, S. (2003). Prevalence of alcohol, cigarette, and
marijuana use among Ghanaian senior secondary students in an
urban setting. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 2(1), 53-
[2] Agoabasa, F.A. (2012). Alcoholism among women and its impact
on the socio-economic development of Ghana: A case study of
Sandema. Unpublished Bachelor of Science Dissertation. Ashesi
University, Ghana.
[3] Ahlstrom, S., Bloomfield, K., & Knibbe, R. (2001). Gender
differences in drinking patterns in nine European countries:
Descriptive findings.
[4] Akyeampong, E. (1996). What’s in a drink? Class struggle,
popular culture and the politics of akpeteshie (local gin) in Ghana,
193067. Journal of African History, 37(1), 215-236.
[5] Akyeampong, E. (1995). Alcoholism in Ghana: A socio- cultural
exploration. Culture Medicine and Psychiatry, 19(2), 261-80.
Substance Abuse, 22, 69-85.
[6] American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed) (DSM-5).
Arlington, VA: Author.
[7] American Psychiatric Association (2004). Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (4th ed) (DSM-4).
Washington DC: Author.
[8] Appiah, R., Danquah, S., Nyarko, K. Ofori-Atta, A.L. & Aziato L.
(2017). Precipitants of substance abuse relapse in Ghana: A
qualitative exploration. Journal of Drug Issues, 47(1), 104-115.
[9] Barry, A.E., Johnson, E., Rabre, A., Darville, G., Donovan, K.,M.
& Efunbumi, O. (2015). Underage access to to online alcohol
marketing content: a Youtube case study. Alcohol and Alcoholism,
50(1), 89-94.
[10] Blackie, R.A., & Kocovski, N.L (2017). Examining the
relationships among self-compassion, social anxiety and post-
event processing. Psychological Reports. 0(0), 1-21.
[11] Clark, D. B., & Sayette, M. A. (1993). Anxiety and the
development of alcoholism: Clinical and scientific issues.
American Journal on Addictions, 2, 59-76.
[12] Doku, D., Koivusilta, L., & Rimpala, A. (2012). Socioeconmic
differences in alcohol and drug use among Ghanaian adolescents.
Addictive Behaviours, 37(3), 357-360.
[13] Dunbar, R.I.M., Launay, J., Wlodarski, R., Robertson, C., Pearce,
E., Carney, J., & MacCarron, P. (2016). Functional benefits of
(Modest) Alcohol Consumption. Adaptive Human Behavior and
Physiology, 3(2).
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume V, Issue I, January 2021|ISSN 2454-6186 Page 568
[14] Fisher, J. C., Bang, H., & Kapiga, S. H. (2007). The association
between HIV infection and alcohol use: A systematic review and
meta-analysis of African studies. Sexually Transmitted Diseases,
34, 856-863.
[15] Ghana Statistical Service (2013). National Analytical Report. In
2010 Population and Housing Census: Summary Report of Final
Result. Accra, Ghana: Ghana Statistical Service.
[16] Koob, G.F., & Le Moal, M. (2008). Neurobiological mechanisms
for opponent motivational processes in addiction. Philos Trans R
Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 363, 3113-3123.
[17] Kranzler, H., & Soyka, M. (2018). Diagnosis and
pharmacotherapy of alcohol use disorder: A review. The Journal
of American Medical Association. 320(8), 815.
[18] Kushner, M. G., Abrams, K., & Borchardt, C. (2000). The
relationship between anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders: a
review of major perspectives and findings. Clinical Psychology
Review, 20 (2), 149-171.
[19] Leary, M.R., Tate, E.B., Adams, C.E., Allen, A.B., & Hancook, J.
(2007). Self-compassion and reactions to unpleasant events: Then
implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology. 92, 887-904.
[20] Magazine, R. (2004). Both Husbands and banda (gang) members:
Conceptualizing marital conflict and instability among young rural
migrants in Mexico City, Men and Masculinities, 7, 144-165.
[21] Neff, K.D. (2009a). The role of self-compassion in development:
A healthier way to relate with oneself. Human Development,
52(4), 211-214.
[22] Neff, K.D. (2004). Self-compassion and psychological well-being.
Construct Human Sci. 9, 27-37.
[23] Neff, K. D. (2003b). Self-compassion: An Alternative
Conceptualization of a Healthy Attitude Toward Oneself. Self &
Identity, 2(2), 85-102.
[24] Neff, K. D. (2003a). The Development and Validation of a Scale
to Measure Self-compassion. Self & Identity, 2(3), 223-250.
[25] Neff, K.D, Kirkpatrick, K.L., & Rude, S.S. (2007). Self-
compassion and adaptive psychological functioning. Journal of
Research in Personality, 41(1), 139-154.
[26] Oppong Asante, K., & Kugbey, N. (2019). Alcohol use by school-
going adolescents in Ghana: prevalence and correlates. Mental
Health and Prevention. 13, 75-81.
[27] Potter, R.F., Yar, K., Francis, A.J.P., & Schuster, S. (2014). Self-
compassionmediates the relationship between parental criticism
and social anxiety. International Journal of Psychology and
Psychological Therapy.14, 33-43.
[28] Randall, C.L. (2000). Alcoholism and social anxiety disorder.
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Research Society on
Alcoholism, Denver, CO.
[29] Schellekens, A.F.A., De Jong, C.A.J., Buitelaar, J.K., & Verkes,
R.J. (2014). Co-morbid anxiety disorders predict early relapse
after inpatient alcohol treatment. Eur Psychiatry, 30(1), 128-36.
[30] Schonbrun, Y.C., Zach, W., Stuart, G.L. & Strong, D.R. (2011).
Marital status and treatment utilization for alcohol use disorders.
Addictive Disorders and their Treatment, 10 (3).
[31] Stolberg V.B. (2006). A review of perspectives of alcohol and
alcoholism in the history of American health and medicine. J Ethn
Subst Abuse, 5 (4), 39-106.
[32] Werner, K.H., Jazaieri, H., Goldin, P.R., Ziv, M., Heimberg, R.G.,
& Gross, J.J. (2012). Self-compassion and social anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Stress Coping, 25(5), 543-58.
[33] World Health Organisation (2019). Harmful use of alcohol,
alcohol dependence and mental health conditions: a review of the
evidence for their association and integrated treatment approaches.
[34] World Health Organisation (2018). Global status report on
alcohol and health 2018. Geneva, WHO.
[35] World Health Organisation (2016). Health topics: Pregnancy.
Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.
[36] World Health Organisation (2013). World Health Statistics 2013.
Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.
[37] World Health Organization (2011). Global status report on
alcohol and health: 2011. Geneva, Switzerland: Author
[38] World Health Organisation (2006). Global status report on
alcohol 2006. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organisation
[39] World Health Organization (2004). Global Status Report on
Alcohol 2004. Geneva: World Health Organization.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Alcohol use has a long and ubiquitous history. Despite considerable research on the misuse of alcohol, no one has ever asked why it might have become universally adopted, although the conventional view assumes that its only benefit is hedonic. In contrast, we suggest that alcohol consumption was adopted because it has social benefits that relate both to health and social bonding. We combine data from a national survey with data from more detailed behavioural and observational studies to show that social drinkers have more friends on whom they can depend for emotional and other support, and feel more engaged with, and trusting of, their local community. Alcohol is known to trigger the endorphin system, and the social consumption of alcohol may thus have the same effect as the many other social activities such as laughter, singing and dancing that we use as a means of servicing and reinforcing social bonds.
Full-text available
With the proliferation of the Internet and online social media use, alcohol advertisers are now marketing their products through social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. As a result, new recommendations have been made by the Federal Trade Commission concerning the self-regulation of digital marketing strategies, including content management on social and digital media sites. The current study sought to determine whether alcohol companies were implementing the self-imposed mandates that they have developed for online marketing. Specifically, we examined whether alcohol companies were implementing effective strategies that would prevent persons under the minimum legal drinking age in the USA from accessing their content on YouTube. We assessed 16 alcohol brands (beer and liquor) associated with the highest prevalence of past 30 day underage alcohol consumption in the USA. Fictitious YouTube user profiles were created and assigned the ages of 14, 17 and 19. These profiles then attempted to access and view the brewer-sponsored YouTube channels for each of the 16 selected brands. Every underage profile, regardless of age, was able to successfully subscribe to each of the 16 (100%) official YouTube channels. On average, two-thirds of the brands' channels were successfully viewed (66.67%). Alcohol industry provided online marketing content is predominantly accessible to underage adolescents. Thus, brewers are not following some of the self-developed and self-imposed mandates for online advertising by failing to implement effective age-restriction measures (i.e. age gates). © The Author 2014. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Full-text available
Introduction Alcohol dependence and anxiety disorders often co-occur. Yet, the effect of co-morbid anxiety disorders on the alcohol relapse-risk after treatment is under debate. This study investigated the effect of co-morbid anxiety disorders on relapse rates in alcohol dependence. We hypothesized that co-morbid anxiety disorders would be particularly predictive for early relapse, but not late relapse. Subjects and methods In a prospective design, male alcohol dependent patients (n = 189) were recruited from an inpatient detoxification clinic. Psychiatric diagnoses and personality traits were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for psychiatric disorders and the Temperament and Character Inventory. The addiction severity index was used to assess addiction severity and follow-up. Results One year after detoxification, 81 patients (53%) relapsed and nine patients (7%) were deceased, due to alcohol related causes. Co-morbid anxiety disorder, marital status, addiction severity, in particular legal problems, and harm avoidance predicted relapse. Anxiety disorders specifically predicted early relapse. Conclusion Alcohol dependence is a severe mental disorder, with high relapse rates and high mortality. Alcohol dependent patients with co-morbid anxiety disorders are particularly prone to relapse during the first three months of treatment. These patients may therefore require additional medical and psychological attention.
This study investigated the risk factors that are associated with alcohol use among a nationally representative sample of school-going adolescents in Ghana. The 2012 version of the Ghanaian Global School-based Student Health Survey on adolescents aged 11-19 years old (N = 1,984) was used. Logistic regression was employed to study the relationship between alcohol use variables and socio-demographic characteristic, mental health problems, psychosocial variables and parental involvement. The prevalence of alcohol use behaviours were 6.8%, 11.1% and 12.6% for alcohol problem, lifetime drunkenness and current alcohol use respectively. Loneliness, suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts were found to independently increase the odds of alcohol use behaviours (current alcohol use, lifetime drunkenness and alcohol problems) among adolescents. Similarly behavioural problems such as truancy, current smoking of cigarette, being bullied, being physically attacked, being involved in a physical fight were found to independently increase the odds of alcohol use behaviours (current alcohol use, lifetime drunkenness and alcohol problems). Having close friends was protective of current alcohol use but not for drunkenness and alcohol problems. These results underline the need for the development of school-based health interventions for early identification of adolescents who may be at-risk for alcohol-related problems.
Importance Alcohol consumption is associated with 88 000 US deaths annually. Although routine screening for heavy alcohol use can identify patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and has been recommended, only 1 in 6 US adults report ever having been asked by a health professional about their drinking behavior. Alcohol use disorder, a problematic pattern of alcohol use accompanied by clinically significant impairment or distress, is present in up to 14% of US adults during a 1-year period, although only about 8% of affected individuals are treated in an alcohol treatment facility. Observations Four medications are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat AUD: disulfiram, naltrexone (oral and long-acting injectable formulations), and acamprosate. However, patients with AUD most commonly receive counseling. Medications are prescribed to less than 9% of patients who are likely to benefit from them, given evidence that they exert clinically meaningful effects and their inclusion in clinical practice guidelines as first-line treatments for moderate to severe AUD. Naltrexone, which can be given once daily, reduces the likelihood of a return to any drinking by 5% and binge-drinking risk by 10%. Randomized clinical trials also show that some medications approved for other indications, including seizure disorder (eg, topiramate), are efficacious in treating AUD. Currently, there is not sufficient evidence to support the use of pharmacogenetics to personalize AUD treatments. Conclusions and Relevance Alcohol consumption is associated with a high rate of morbidity and mortality, and heavy alcohol use is the major risk factor for AUD. Simple, valid screening methods can be used to identify patients with heavy alcohol use, who can then be evaluated for the presence of an AUD. Patients receiving a diagnosis of the disorder should be given brief counseling and prescribed a first-line medication (eg, naltrexone) or referred for a more intensive psychosocial intervention.
Post-event processing refers to negative and repetitive thinking following anxiety provoking social situations. Those who engage in post-event processing may lack self-compassion in relation to social situations. As such, the primary aim of this research was to evaluate whether those high in self-compassion are less likely to engage in post-event processing and the specific self-compassion domains that may be most protective. In study 1 (N = 156 undergraduate students) and study 2 (N = 150 individuals seeking help for social anxiety and shyness), participants completed a battery of questionnaires, recalled a social situation, and then rated state post-event processing. Self-compassion negatively correlated with post-event processing, with some differences depending on situation type. Even after controlling for self-esteem, self-compassion remained significantly correlated with state post-event processing. Given these findings, self-compassion may serve as a buffer against post-event processing. Future studies should experimentally examine whether increasing self-compassion leads to reduced post-event processing.
Relapse to substance abuse is a global problem and is conceptualized as an integral component of the recovery process. Global statistics on rates of relapse after substance abuse treatment are disturbingly high, averaging about 75% within a 3- to 6-month duration after treatment. This study sought to gain full understanding of the factors that precipitate relapse among substance abusers in Ghana. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 15 relapsed substance abusers who were previously treated for substance abuse, and three mental health professionals at a psychiatric rehabilitation unit in Ghana. Findings showed that seven factors, including positive/negative emotional reinforcements, sense of loss, interpersonal conflicts, peer influence, familial, religio-cultural, and treatment-based issues complot to instigate and maintain the relapse cycle. The findings provide valuable insights into the relapse phenomenon in Ghana. Clinicians should actively engage family members in the relapse prevention process, and provide insight into religio-cultural relapse precipitants.