Original Article

The Mediating Effects of Self-Esteem and Harm Avoidance on the Association between Social Anxiety Symptoms and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Severity in Turkish Inpatients with Alcohol Use Disorder


Objective: The first objective of this research was to examine the association of the symptom severity of social anxiety with the adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptom severity in Turkish patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD). The second objective was to examine if harm avoidance and self-esteem mediated this relationship.

Method: This cross-sectional analysis was performed among 151 inpatients with AUD at the Bakirkoy/AMATEM, a treatment center for substance use disorder, in Istanbul. Patients were examined with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), and the temperament dimension of Harm Avoidance (HA). Using SPSS-20 software, the data was analyzed using Pearson correlations, multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), and multiple linear regressions.

Results: The scales scores were mildly correlated with each other. The low self-esteem and high HA were related with the inattentive (IN) dimension of ADHD, whereas low self-esteem solely predicted hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI) dimension of ADHD in MANCOVA. In the linear regression analysis, the severity of social anxiety, particularly avoidance dimension, was associated with the symptom severity of ADHD. In the second step of the analysis, together with the avoidance dimension of social anxiety, self-esteem was associated with the symptom severity of ADHD. However, in the third step, after including HA as an independent variable in the analysis, the avoidance dimension of social anxiety was no longer associated with the severity of adult ADHD symptoms, whereas self-esteem together with HA (particularly “anticipatory worry and pessimism” [HA-1], and “asthenia and fatigability” [HA-4]) predicted.

Conclusion: Findings of the present study shows that although the symptom severity of social anxiety is associated with the severity of ADHD symptoms among inpatients with AUD, among dimensions of social anxiety, the avoidance dimension plays a main role in this relationship. Also, while the self-esteem partially mediates this relationship, HA seems to have a full mediator effect on this relationship.

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IssueVol 16 No 3 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijps.v16i3.6253
Alcohol Use Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder Self Concept

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Evren C, Cicekci E, Umut G, Evren B, Durmus Cicekci K. The Mediating Effects of Self-Esteem and Harm Avoidance on the Association between Social Anxiety Symptoms and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Severity in Turkish Inpatients with Alcohol Use Disorder. Iran J Psychiatry. 2021;16(3):281-289.