Changes in Beliefs about the Social Competence of Self and Others Following Group Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment
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- Koerner, N., Antony, M.M., Young, L. et al. Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37: 256. doi:10.1007/s10608-012-9472-5
The current study examined changes in social anxiety thoughts and beliefs following cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT). Participants (N = 77) were adults with a principal diagnosis of SAD who received 12, 2-h sessions of group CBT at a hospital-based outpatient anxiety disorders clinic. There were significant decreases from pretreatment to posttreatment in social anxiety symptoms and in symptoms of depression, nonspecific anxiety and tension, as well as significant improvements in social anxiety beliefs, as assessed via the Social Thoughts and Beliefs Scale (STABS; Turner et al., Psychol Assess 15:384–391, 2003). Change in social anxiety beliefs made a significant contribution to the prediction of social anxiety symptoms at posttreatment over and above pretreatment social anxiety symptoms and changes in depression, nonspecific anxiety and tension. A positive change in the belief that others are more socially-competent emerged as a significant unique predictor of social anxiety symptoms at posttreatment. The findings demonstrate that the STABS is sensitive to cognitive-behavioral treatment. The findings also suggest that social comparison processes in particular are a key aspect of improvement in social anxiety symptoms. This is an important direction for future research.