A worrying trend in social anxiety: to what degree are worry and its cognitive factors associated with youth Social Anxiety Disorder?

Hearn, Cate S. and Donovan, Caroline L. and Spence, Susan H. and March, Sonja (2017) A worrying trend in social anxiety: to what degree are worry and its cognitive factors associated with youth Social Anxiety Disorder? Journal of Affective Disorders, 208. pp. 33-40. ISSN 0165-0327


Background: Comorbidity between Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is extremely common. This study investigated whether factors commonly associated with GAD, including worry, intolerance of uncertainty (IU), positive and negative beliefs about worry (PBW, NBW), negative problem orientation (NPO) and cognitive avoidance (CA) were associated with SAD severity, symptoms and overall functioning. Method: Participants included 126 youth aged 8–17 years (M=11.29, SD=2.67, Males n=50) with a primary diagnosis of SAD. Participants and a parent underwent a diagnostic interview and completed questionnaires at pre- and 12-week post assessment, and 6-month follow-up. Correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted. Results: Each of the cognitive variables, with the exception of PBW, was found to correlate with SAD symptoms, SAD severity and overall functioning. NPO emerged as an important predictor of SAD severity, self-reported ratings of SAD symptoms, and poorer levels of overall functioning. IU and worry also predicted self-rated SAD symptoms. Limitations: Measures were chosen on the basis of their sound psychometrics however some were yet to undergo rigorous testing with youth populations. The study design is cross-sectional, which restricts firm
conclusions regarding causal and temporal associations between the variables. Conclusions: Findings from this study have implications for the specificity of GAD and SAD in youth. Further research is required to understand whether these cognitive variables play a maintaining role in youth SAD and the extent to which they might influence treatment.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2017 01:05
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2017 03:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD); Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.09.052
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30088

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