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17-07-2018 | Uitgave 2/2019

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 2/2019

Towards a Cognitive-Behavioral Understanding of Assertiveness: Effects of Cognition and Distress on Different Expressions of Assertive Behavior

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy > Uitgave 2/2019
Paula Vagos, Anabela Pereira


Assertiveness, as the ability to adequately express oneself while maintaining social gains, can be applied to various social contexts and concomitant social demands, but the cognitive and emotional correlates underlying assertive behaviour in diverse social events has not been considered. We tested a cognitive-behavioral framework for understanding the self-reported enactment of diverse types of assertive behaviours (i.e., displaying negative and positive feelings, expressing and managing personal limitations, and taking initiative), using a sample of 679 adolescents (mean age = 16.68, 261 boys) and a model generation approach to structural equation modelling. Cognition directly predicted lower distress and more frequent assertive behavior; also, cognition indirectly predicted assertive behavior through distress. Interpersonal management was the most salient cognitive theme predicting various types of assertive behaviors, alongside feeling less distressed when displaying negative feelings. Evidence was found for cognitive-behavioral theories being a valid approach to understanding assertiveness and sustaining insights for efficacious assertive training.

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