Attachment, rejection sensitivity, support, psychological capital and alcohol dependency in students

T Cassidy, Melanie Giles, Alexis Carey

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Alcohol dependence evolves from problematic social relations hinged on attachment difficulties and fear of social rejection. This study sought to test an attachment-rejection-relationship model of the development of alcohol dependency. Emerging adults (N=762) of which 69.8%, were female, ranging in age from 18-63 years, took part in an online survey measuring adult attachment, rejection sensitivity, loneliness, social support, psychological capital, and alcohol consumption. Analysis supports the model and shows that individuals with insecure and anxious attachment, fear of social rejection, who experience loneliness and lack of social support, and whose psychological resources are less effective, are more likely to be at risk for alcohol dependency. The role of attachment, rejection and social relations in alcohol consumption point to social problem-solving interventions. Given the childhood origins of attachment problems and fear of social rejection there is a strong case for prevention using social problem-solving.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Contemporary Research in Social Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Sept 2021


  • Attachment
  • Rejection sensitivity
  • Social support
  • Psychological capital
  • Alcohol dependency


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