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Child Development Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 9468972, 8 pages
Research Article

Adolescent Social Anxiety and Substance Use: The Role of Susceptibility to Peer Pressure

Institute of Psychology, Unit of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands

Received 29 April 2016; Accepted 24 August 2016

Academic Editor: Elena Nicoladis

Copyright © 2016 Anke W. Blöte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to further our understanding of the link between social anxiety and substance use in adolescents, in particular the role susceptibility to peer pressure plays in this link. The relation between social anxiety and susceptibility to peer pressure was studied in two community samples ( and ) each consisting of two age groups (12-13 and 15–17 years). The relation of these two variables with substance use was evaluated in the second sample using regression analysis. Social anxiety was related to susceptibility to peer pressure in both groups and not related to substance use in the younger group and negatively related to substance use in the older group. Susceptibility to peer pressure acted as a suppressor in the relation between social anxiety and substance use. Results suggest that socially anxious adolescents basically avoid substance use but, if susceptible, may yield to peer pressure and start using substances. Parents, teachers, and therapists should be aware of this susceptibility to possibly negative peer pressure of socially anxious adolescents.