اضطراب اجتماعی در دانشجویان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|32708||2001||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Volume 15, Issue 3, May–June 2001, Pages 203–215
Individuals with social phobia often hold erroneous beliefs about the extent to which others experience symptoms of social anxiety and the ways in which others evaluate people who appear to be anxious. The purpose of this study was to: (a) provide normative data on the frequency with which individuals in a nonclinical sample experience particular symptoms of social anxiety (e.g., sweating, shaking, etc.); (b) to examine how the perception of anxiety in others influences participants' immediate impressions of various personal characteristics (e.g., intelligence, attractiveness, etc); and, (c) investigate the relationship between social anxiety and perceptions regarding others who appear to be anxious. Eighty-one undergraduate students completed self-report measures of social anxiety and social desirability, and then rated the degree to which their impressions of various personal characteristics were influenced when another individual was perceived to be anxious. Results suggested that the vast majority of individuals experience symptoms of anxiety in social situations from time to time. In addition, individuals who themselves reported elevated social anxiety were more likely than individuals less socially anxious to judge others who appear anxious to have less strength of character and to be less attractive and more compassionate compared to others who do not appear anxious. Clinical implications of these results are discussed.
Social phobia is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by the strong desire to make a favorable impression of oneself on others, in conjunction with a marked insecurity about one's ability to do so. Individuals with social phobia avoid situations in which there is potential for negative evaluation by others, or endure such situations with great anxiety and distress American Psychiatric Association, 1994, Clark & Wells, 1995 and Rapee & Heimberg, 1997. According to cognitive–behavioral models of social phobia, social anxiety is maintained by excessively high standards for social performance (e.g., “I must not let anyone see I am anxious”), a tendency to assume that others view oneself as inadequate (e.g., boring, peculiar, unattractive, etc.), and a tendency to assume that others' beliefs about oneself are true Clark & Wells, 1995 and Rapee & Heimberg, 1997. As a result of these beliefs and assumptions, individuals with social phobia tend to: (1) report a high frequency of negative self-statements, (2) negatively evaluate the quality of their social performance, (3) notice what went wrong in a social interaction rather than what went right, (4) be preoccupied with how others are evaluating them, and (5) engage in excessive self-monitoring of their presentation to others, including attention to physiological symptoms of their anxiety Clark & Wells, 1995, Mattick et al., 1995, Rapee & Heimberg, 1997, Scholing et al., 1996 and Wells, 1997. According to Clark and Wells (1995) individuals with social phobia also tend to rely on internal “feeling states” as a means of judging whether or not a social interaction is going well. That is, such individuals tend to assume that if they feel anxious in a social situation, it is because they are not performing well. Nonphobic individuals, on the other hand, will often test their interpretation of a social situation by various strategies, such as seeking out further eye contact to determine if another is genuinely uninterested in what they are saying, for example, and are thus able to appraise their performance more realistically. Socially anxious individuals, then, tend to construct highly negative images of their performance in social situations which contribute substantially to anticipatory anxiety as well as negative postevent processing Clark & Wells, 1995, Rapee & Heimberg, 1997 and Wells, 1997. This anxiety results in the use of safety-seeking behaviors in social situations (e.g., mentally practicing what one is going to say next in a conversation, wearing high collared sweaters to mask signs of blushing, gripping a glass tightly with one hand to avoid spilling) that can actually cause or exaggerate the feared symptoms (e.g., planning one's next sentence makes it hard to keep up with the conversation itself, wearing sweaters makes one hot thereby increasing flushing, a tight grip can actually increase tremor). In combination with information processing biases in evaluating social performance, such behaviors prevent learning of new information about the consequences of the feared event (e.g., spilling something does not result in widespread social rejection). At the same time, concern about the importance of not showing anxiety results in excessive monitoring of bodily sensations, and slight fluctuations are detected and result in an increase in anxiety. Cognitive behavioral treatment of social phobia targets erroneous beliefs and assumptions about social situations, as well as avoidance and safety-seeking behaviors. The belief that symptoms of anxiety in oneself will be perceived by others as a sign of weakness, incompetence, mental instability, stupidity, etc. and lead to humiliation or embarrassment is a cardinal feature of social anxiety and accounts for much of the negative self-evaluation in social situations reported by social phobic individuals (American Psychiatric Association, 1994 and Scholing & Emmelkamp, 1993; see also Clark & Wells, 1995, for a review of clinical anecdotal evidence). Individuals with social phobia also have a tendency to overestimate the extent to which symptoms of anxiety are visible to others Alden & Wallace, 1995, Bruch et al., 1989 and McEwan & Devins, 1983. Socially anxious individuals, then, are in the position of believing that their anxiety is a severe social handicap, whilst having a distorted image of the extent to which their symptoms of anxiety are observable. It would seem, then, that if individuals were not so concerned about the consequences of exhibiting symptoms of anxiety in social situations, their anxiety might decrease substantially. Correction of erroneous beliefs about the extent to which symptoms of anxiety are experienced within the general population, as well as the extent to which symptoms of anxiety are perceived negatively by others might, then, be helpful in treating social anxiety. However, to what extent are negative beliefs about the impact of showing signs of anxiety accurate, and to what extent is social anxiety an aberrant response? To date, these questions have not been addressed in the literature. Investigations of social anxiety in nonclinical samples have focused on general behavior, such as social avoidance and general feelings of anxiety. Such studies reveal that 40% of individuals consider themselves to be “shy,” and that 90% of individuals report having had periods in their life when they were shy (Zimbardo, 1977). Shyness, in general, is defined by social inhibition and anxiety, and is considered by some to fall on a continuum with social phobia Rapee & Heimberg, 1997 and Turner et al., 1990. Similarly, other research has observed subclinical social anxiety to be quite prevalent in the general population, with 50% to 61% of individuals reporting social anxiety in at least one situation Hofmann & Roth, 1996 and Stein et al., 1994. However, information about the frequency with which individuals in nonclinical samples experience specific symptoms of social anxiety, such as stammering, blushing, shaking, etc., is not currently available. As well, no studies to date have examined the degree to which one's immediate impression of another person is influenced by detecting signs of anxiety. It would seem, then, that the majority of individuals do experience social anxiety from time to time and therefore may have a neutral, if not sympathetic, response to noticing anxiety in others. If this is the case, it might be helpful in treatment to provide this data in order to help alleviate concerns about negative evaluation. The purpose of this study was to: (a) obtain normative data on the frequency of symptoms of social anxiety in a nonclinical sample, (b) assess the degree to which anxiety influences people's immediate impression of others, and (c) investigate the relationship between social anxiety and immediate impressions of others who appear to be anxious. Participants were administered self-report measures of social anxiety, a measure of the frequency of particular manifestations of social anxiety, a questionnaire examining the degree to which social anxiety influenced immediate impressions of various characterological features, and a measure of social desirability. Given the prevalence of situational social anxiety and subclinical “shyness” in the general population, it was hypothesized that symptoms of anxiety would be quite common in a nonclinical sample. It was also hypothesized that, given the expected prevalence of symptoms of social anxiety in nonclinical samples, the immediate impressions of others formed by individuals low in social anxiety would not be negatively influenced by the observation that that individual was anxious. Finally, given that the primary preoccupation of individuals with social phobia is a concern with failing to meet the high standards of others (Rapee & Heimberg, 1997), we expected that individuals high in social anxiety would perceive anxiety symptoms not as a problem in and of themselves, but rather as a problem only to the extent that they resulted in a failure to meet the high expectations of performance imposed by others. Therefore, it was hypothesized that the immediate impressions of individuals high in social anxiety would also not be negatively influenced by the observation that an individual is anxious.