Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 171–186 | Cite as

Is Social Anxiety Associated With Both Interpersonal Avoidance and Interpersonal Dependence?



We tested the hypothesis that social anxiety is associated with both interpersonal avoidance and interpersonal dependency. Specifically, we predicted that dependence would be evident in developmentally salient close relationships upon which socially anxious people may rely. One hundred sixty-eight young people undergoing the transition to adulthood completed self-report measures of anxiety and interpersonal patterns. Results indicated that both dependent and avoidant interpersonal styles in romantic relationships, but not other relationships, were uniquely associated with social anxiety. These results remained when controlling for depressive symptoms, anxiety sensitivity, and trait anxiety. Our findings illustrate that social anxiety is not characterized solely by interpersonal avoidance as current conceptualizations suggest. Implications for models and treatment of social anxiety are discussed.


social anxiety interpersonal dependency avoidance close relationships 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Darcy
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
  • Joanne Davila
    • 2
    • 4
    • 6
  • J. Gayle Beck
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.The Shield InstituteFlushing
  2. 2.State University of New York at BuffaloBuffalo
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiami
  4. 4.Department of PsychologySUNY Stony Brook
  5. 5.Department of PsychologySUNY BuffaloBuffalo
  6. 6.Department of PsychologySUNY Stony Brook
  7. 7.Department of PsychologySUNY BuffaloBuffalo

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