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Socio-cognitive processes associated with paruresis and parcopresis symptoms: A proposed bivalent model


Paruresis has been recognized as a subtype of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). A well-established model of SAD is the extended bivalent fear of evaluation model (extended BFOE) which include socio-cognitive processes such as fear of negative and positive evaluation (FNE and FPE), concerns of social reprisal (CSR), and disqualification of positive social outcomes (DPSO). In addition to the extended BFOE, dysfunctional attitudes (DAs) have also been recognized to contribute towards social anxiety symptoms and distress. The aim of this study was to examine whether an extended BFOE model for SAD could be used to explain paruresis and parcopresis symptoms. Three-hundred-and-sixteen undergraduate students (76.6% female; mean age = 31.25 years) completed a cross-sectional online study. A structural equation model (SEM) indicated the data supported the proposed model very well (χ2p value = .345, CMIN/df = 1.064, CFI = 1.00, TLI = .999, RMSEA = .014, SRMR = .0107) with significant direct relationships being found between DAs and FNE (p = .002), DAs and FPE (p = .002), FNE and CSR (p = .001), FPE and CSR (p = .001), CSR and paruresis score (p = .045), CSR and DAs (p = .006), FPE and paruresis score (p = .001), FPE and parcopresis score (p = .004), FNE and paruresis score (p = .004), and FNE and parcopresis score (p = .002). Although this research should be replicated, the current study provides evidence that DAs, FNE, FPE and CSR are important contributory factors in paruresis and parcopresis symptoms.

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The authors would like to thank all the individuals who participated in our research.


This research was conducted through the support of the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

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Correspondence to Simon R. Knowles.

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Kuoch, K.L.J., Meyer, D., Austin, D.W. et al. Socio-cognitive processes associated with paruresis and parcopresis symptoms: A proposed bivalent model. Curr Psychol (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00376-w

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  • Paruresis
  • Parcopresis
  • Socio-cognitive
  • Psychosomatic
  • Extended bivalent fear of evaluation model