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08-04-2021 | Original Article

Understanding the Dynamic Interaction of Maladaptive Social-Evaluative Beliefs and Social Anxiety: A Latent Change Score Model Approach

Cognitive Therapy and Research
Quincy J. J. Wong, Alexandre Heeren
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This study was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (APP1037618) awarded to Quincy J. J. Wong. Alexandre Heeren was supported by the FRS-FNRS Belgian National Science Foundation (as FRS-FNRS research associate).

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There is a paucity of research that has examined the dynamic relationship between maladaptive social-evaluative beliefs and social anxiety. Thus, this study aimed to use latent change score models to examine changes in three theory-driven maladaptive social-evaluative belief types (i.e., conditional, unconditional, and high standard beliefs) and their relationship with social anxiety changes in the real-world, day-to-day life contexts of a community sample of individuals with elevated social anxiety (N = 73).


Individuals completed one daily assessment of the three belief types and social anxiety symptoms over 4 days.


Only the measures of social anxiety, unconditional beliefs, and high standard beliefs were found to have invariant measurement properties across time. As such, latent change score models were only examined for these measures. These models ultimately showed that greater increases in high standard beliefs predicted greater increases in social anxiety the subsequent day. Additionally, greater increases in social anxiety predicted smaller increases or declines in high standard beliefs the next day. Changes in unconditional beliefs were unrelated to social anxiety changes the next day, and changes in social anxiety were unrelated to next day changes in unconditional beliefs.


These findings suggest high standard beliefs play a prominent role in the dynamics involving social anxiety and provide a basis for future research to further understand the interaction between these constructs.

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