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01-12-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 6/2013

Cognitive Therapy and Research 6/2013

In the Presence of Social Threat: Implicit and Explicit Self-Esteem in Social Anxiety Disorder

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 6/2013
Auteurs:
Viktoria Ritter, Christine Ertel, Katja Beil, Melanie C. Steffens, Ulrich Stangier

Abstract

The present study investigated implicit and explicit self-esteem and the effects of co-morbid depressive disorders on both in a clinical sample of patients with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) (n = 40), and in healthy controls (n = 35) following social-threat induction (giving an impromptu speech). Implicit self-esteem was assessed using an implicit association test. Explicit self-esteem was measured with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Results indicated that SAD patients had significantly lower implicit self-esteem, relative to healthy controls, and were also characterized by lower explicit self-esteem. Depressed SAD patients revealed more negative explicit self-esteem than non-depressed SAD patients, but no such group differences were found in implicit self-esteem. There were also strong relationships between patients’ explicit self-esteem and symptoms of social anxiety and depression. The findings support cognitive models of SAD and suggest that biased self-processing works on both implicit and explicit levels. Further, it seems that social anxiety and depression are characterized by differential implicit self-evaluative processes.

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