Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)




Adrian J Bravo

Committee Member

Cheryl Dickter

Committee Member

Joshua A Burk


While research has examined the effect of stigma from others towards individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUD), few studies have examined the relationship between perceived self-stigma related to AUD and corresponding engagement with alcohol among non-clinical samples. Present Study. The present studies examined the relationships between perceptions of self-stigma of AUD, proximity to others with AUD, and alcohol use behaviors and outcomes. Methods. In Study 1, participants (n = 3,169; 73.9% female) were college students within the U.S. recruited to participate in an online survey on substance use including questions on AUD self-stigma, alcohol use behaviors and negatives alcohol use consequences. Study 2 replicated the study design and sample demographics (n = 299; 68.3% female), with the addition of an assessment of AUD symptoms. Results. Results for Study 1 indicated significant differences in stigma scores such that individuals who have engaged in alcohol use reported higher AUD self-stigma scores than individuals that never engaged with alcohol or engaged in the last 30-days. Across both studies, higher self-stigma scores significantly related to less alcohol use, less negative alcohol use consequences, and fewer AUD symptoms. Results also revealed that for people who endorse proximity to AUD, self-stigma scores and alcohol use engagement and consequences were significantly higher than in individuals with no endorsed proximity.Conclusions. We interpret these findings not to say that self-stigma is a positive clinical intervention, rather increased awareness of the consequences of AUD has a negative relationship with alcohol use among young adults and warrants further investigation.




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