Effects Of Social Anxiety

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Anxiety disorders are becoming increasingly common in society, and are characterized by common symptoms of fear over future events or the consequences of current ones. This fear is often debilitating in the afflicted person, and is a hindrance to normative behaviour. Certain anxiety disorders originate in childhood and adolescence, and they may persist into adulthood without treatment. One anxiety disorder with particularly negative implications is social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorders in children occur when a child exhibits an intense fear to situations where they may be perceived to be inadequate in the presence of others. This disorder, also known as social phobia, often leads to severe impairment and disruption of daily life …show more content…
Kerns et al. hypothesized that social anxiety symptoms would predict poorer response to treatment, and that it would be easier to predict the outcomes for those with severe social anxiety. Data was taken from ninety-one participants between the ages of eight and fourteen, ten of whom dropped out of the study before its completion. There were four measurements taken: before treatment, immediately following treatment, one year later, and 7.4 years later. Across all measures, semi-structured clinical interviews were conducted for the purpose of diagnosis. The children were divided into either a wait-list group or a treatment group. Those in the treatment group received CBT which was designed to allow the children to recognize their cognitions and modify them, as well as to allow reinforcement of relaxation behaviours. Exposure therapy was also used as a means to control the children’s fears. Measures were taken in accordance with the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV in later trials, though previous measures were completed using DSM-III criteria. A hierarchal linear model was used to analyze both within group and between group data, and a previously conducted chi-square test revealed no difference in participants other than a disproportionate amount of low-income families dropping out of the study. The analysis showed that the participant benefited from treatment and that these benefits still persisted a year later; however, the benefits of the treatment had significantly decreased in the measure 7.4 years later. It was concluded that extended treatment may be necessary for treating social anxiety disorders. The study was limited by the lack of a control group in the final two measures, as ethical restraints prevented the withholding of treatment. In addition, the validity of the data is ambiguous because the increase in symptoms

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