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26-10-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2020

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2020

The Relationship Between Negative Self-imagery and Social Anxiety in a Clinically Diagnosed Sample

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2020
Auteurs:
Katherine A. Dobinson, Alice R. Norton, Maree J. Abbott
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Abstract

The current study aimed to investigate the content of negative self-imagery (NSI) in Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and to explore the relationship between NSI and other maintaining variables. Eighty-six individuals (83.7% female) with SAD completed self-report questionnaires and a semi-structured imagery interview. Thematic analysis was used to assess core themes from the interview transcripts. Mediation analyses were employed to explore the relationship between NSI and other variables of interest. Imagery characteristics supported extant findings, such that they appeared distorted, from an observer perspective, and inclusive of multiple sensory modalities. ‘Unconditional beliefs’ and ‘Conditional beliefs’ depicted overarching themes emerging from the data, outlining themes in NSI regarding self- and other-directed concepts. Mediation analyses demonstrated that imagery variables mediated the relationship between trait social anxiety and subsequent distress. Furthermore, socially-relevant beliefs mediated the relationship between trait social anxiety and NSI. These findings emphasise the clinical importance of targeting the meaning of social imagery and memories in SAD.

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