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Social interpretations in generalized social phobia : subtitle the influence of social development factors Taylor, Charles Theodore 2002

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SOCIAL INTERPRETATIONS IN GENERALIZED SOCIAL PHOBIA: T H E INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL D E V E L O P M E N T A L F A C T O R S by CHARLES THEODORE T A Y L O R B.Sc, McMaster University, 2000 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF ARTS In T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Psychology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 2002 © Charles Theodore Taylor, 2002  UBC Rare Books and Special Collections - Thesis Authorisation Form  http://www.library.ubc.ca/spcoll/thesauth.html  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by t h e head o f my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n .  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbi Vancouver, Canada Date  1 of 1  8/30/02 2:09 PM  Abstract Interpersonal theorists propose that developmental experiences influence people's interpretations of and reactions to contemporary social events. This study examined social interpretations in a sample of 42 patients with generalized social phobia and 42 nonclinical control participants. Participants engaged in a getting acquainted interaction with an experimental assistant whose behaviour was used to create either a positive or an ambiguous social environment. Overall, participants with social phobia did not interpret their partner's behaviour differently than did the community control group. However, some individuals with social phobia, notably those with social developmental histories marked by parental overprotection and emotional and physical abuse, did display distinct patterns of social interpretation. In addition, early social environments characterized by overprotection affected the behaviour of people with social phobia, and, in turn, their partner's liking for them. Discussion focuses on theoretical and clinical implications of the present findings within the context of an interpersonal perspective on social phobia.  iii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iii  List of Tables  iv  List of Figures  v  Acknowledgements  vi  fntroduction Current Study  1 7  Method  Participants Personnel Procedure Symptom Measures Dependent Measures  8 9 9 11 12  Results  Preliminary Analyses Main Analyses Regression Analyses  14 16 17  Discussion  23  References  31  Tables  41  Figures  52  IV  List of Tables Table 1  Clinical Characteristics for Groups and Conditions  41  Table 2  Demographic Characteristics for Groups and Conditions  42  Table 3  Means and Standard Deviations for Symptom Measures  43  Table 4  Means and Standard Deviations for Social Background Factors  44  Table 5  Means and Standard Deviations for Dependent Measures  45  Table 6  Regression Analyses Predicting Partner Warmth from Social  Table 7  Table 8  Table 9  Table 10  Background Factors (N= 42)  46  Regression Analyses Predicting Partner Competence from Social Background Factors (7V = 42)  47  Correlations Between Symptom Measures, Social Background Factors, and Social Interpretation Variables for GSPs  ...48  Regression Analyses Predicting Prosocial Behaviours from Social Background Factors (N = 42)  50  Regression Analyses Predicting DFI Ratings from Social Background Factors (N = 42)  51  V  List of Figures Figure 1  Simple regression slopes of the condition by abuse/neglect interaction in predicting partner warmth in the positive and ambiguous conditions for GSP participants 52  Figure 2  Simple regression slopes of the condition by overprotection interaction in predicting partner warmth in the positive and ambiguous conditions for GSP participants 53  vi  Acknowledgements I am grateful to Dr. Lynn E. Alden for her guidance and support on this thesis, and for providing me with the opportunity to conduct clinical research in the area of social phobia. I would also like to thank the other members of my thesis committee, Dr. Wolfgang Linden and Dr. Mark Schaller for their valuable insight and suggestions. I would like to acknowledge the following funding agencies who supported this research: a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant to Dr. Lynn Alden, and a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council scholarship and British Columbia Medical Services Foundation scholarship to myself. I would also like to thank Dr. Lisa Brown for her invaluable assistance in conducting clinical interviews, and Natalie Garton and Ben Lewis for their capable work as experimental confederates. Finally, I would like to thank Judith Laposa, Dr. Tanna Mellings, and Katharine Saje for their support and input on earlier drafts of this thesis.  1 Introduction Contemporary etiological models of anxiety acknowledge the contribution of the family environment to the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders (e.g., Rapee, 2001; Rubin & Mills, 1991). Parent-child interactions seem to be of particular significance in the case of social phobia in which emerging theories highlight the importance of early social experiences in the development of social fears (e.g., Alden, 2001; Rubin & Mills, 1991). Although previous researchers have identified a biological basis for behavioural inhibition and anxiety (e.g., Kagan, Reznick, & Snidman, 1987), it is believed that social developmental factors contribute considerably to the expression of these biological factors. In keeping with this proposition, Kagan and colleagues found that approximately twenty-five percent of children who were extremely timid at 21 months of age were no longer so at age 6, while about the same proportion of children who were not inhibited at 21 months became inhibited by 6 years of age (Kagan, Reznick, Snidman, Gibbons, & Johnson, 1988). Although separate biological processes may be responsible for these findings, another possible explanation is that some social environments may ameliorate temperamental fears in some children, whereas other environments may serve to exacerbate or create inhibited behaviour in other children. This proposition is supported by research demonstrating that a positive social environment can reduce innate behavioural inhibition (e.g., Arcus, 1991; Plomin & Daniels, 1986), while a negative social environment can produce inhibition in initially nonshy children (e.g., Alden & Cappe, 1988). Researchers have identified a number of developmental factors found to be associated with shyness and social anxiety, including child-rearing styles, parental modeling of social concerns, and restricted exposure to social situations (Hudson & Rapee, 2000). Studies examining retrospective reports of people with social phobia have found that these individuals  2  tend to perceive their parents as having been overprotective, less affectionate and caring, more controlling and rejecting, more likely to use shame as a form of discipline, and more concerned with the opinions of others as compared to normal controls (Arrindell, Emmelkamp, Monsma, & Brilman, 1983; Arrindell et al., 1989; Bruch & Heimberg, 1994; Parker, 1979; Rapee & Melville, 1997). Bruch and Heimberg (1994) also found that individuals with generalized social phobia reported more social isolation and less family socializing than did nongeneralized social phobic participants. These retrospective reports have generally been corroborated by observation of parentchild interactions in a laboratory setting. For instance, Hudson & Rapee (2001) found that mothers of anxious children, some of whom had social phobia, tended to over-protect their children during a laboratory task. In other research, Rubin and his colleagues found that mothers of extremely anxious-withdrawn children responded to shy, unskilled child behaviour with attempts to direct and control how the child behaved, and with devaluation statements or nonresponsiveness to the child (Mills & Rubin, 1998; Rubin & Mills, 1990). Although parental overprotection has been the focus of the extant literature examining social developmental factors in socially anxious populations, research in our own laboratory suggests that individuals with social phobia also tend to report significantly more emotional and physical abuse in their childhoods compared to non-anxious controls (Alden, Mellings, Laposa, & Taylor, 2001). These adverse family interactions may be particularly important given that previous research suggests that different social learning histories may create different developmental trajectories in the establishment of social fears. For example, Alden and Cappe (1988) found that patients reporting early onset shyness also described their parents as shy, while patients reporting later onset shyness tended to report a childhood history of emotional or  3 physical abuse. A l l in all, this research supports the notion that early experiences may be of particular importance in shaping social fears and behaviour patterns later in life. It is generally accepted that early social experiences shape our sense of who we are and what we can expect from others. Furthermore, contemporary writers tend to agree that consistencies in one's past experiences are distilled in memory in the form of organized knowledge structures that are believed to guide people's interpretations of and reactions to social events (e.g., Baldwin, 1992; Baldwin & Fergusson, 2001; Beck, Emery, & Greenberg, 1985; Clark & Wells, 1995). Consequently, a person's developmental experiences should be reflected in their current social behaviour. Given the wide range of early social environments encountered by people with social phobia, one would expect to see variation in the interpersonal problems exhibited by these individuals. In support of this proposition, Kachin, Newman, & Pincus (2001) found variability in the core interpersonal problems reported by a group of individuals with social phobia as measured by the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems - Circumplex Scales (DP; Alden, Wiggins, & Pincus, 1990). Some participants reported interpersonal problems related to friendlysubmissive behaviour, whereas others exhibited problems related to hostile, angry behaviour. These results were similar to those found by Alden & Capreol (1993) who examined the interpersonal problem profiles of patients with Avoidant Personality Disorder, an axis II condition that demonstrates considerable overlap with generalized social phobia (see review by Alden, Laposa, Taylor, & Ryder, 2002). Furthermore, some patients with social phobia have been perceived by their therapists as being irritable and resistant (Alden & Koch, 1999), while other studies have not found these patients to display this cold, irritable pattern of behaviour (Alden & Wallace, 1995; Rapee & Lim, 1992; Stopa & Clark, 1993). In light of these findings,  4 one wonders whether the interpersonal variability seen in people with social phobia can be explained in part by the different early social environments encountered by these individuals. However, no research to date has attempted to examine the association between social developmental experiences and current social behaviour. Considering the developmental and interpersonal variability seen in individuals with social phobia, one wonders what implications this variability might have in terms of one's interpretation of social situations. This is of particular importance given that contemporary models of social anxiety highlight the contribution of information processing biases in maintaining social fears (e.g., Clark & Wells, 1995; Clark, 2001; Rapee & Heimberg, 1997). Although there is a formidable body of research documenting negatively biased self-judgments in patients with social phobia (e.g., Alden & Wallace, 1995; Rapee & Lim, 1992; Stopa & Clark, 1993), research examining biased social judgments of others has yielded mixed results. Some researchers have proposed that individuals with social phobia are prone to view others as critical evaluators and suggest that such beliefs contribute to these patients' self-critical thinking (e.g., Beck et al., 1985; Clark, 2001). Congruent with this proposition, some researchers have found evidence of negatively biased social judgments in socially anxious individuals in the context of laboratory tasks (Leary, Kowalski, & Campbell, 1988; Maddux, Norton, & Leary, 1988; Pozo, Carver, Wellens, & Scheier, 1991). Laboratory results have generally been supported in the context of social interactions and close relationships. For instance, Jones and Briggs (1984) found shyness to be correlated with negative ratings of other group members on dimensions such as warmth and friendliness. Additionally, patients with social phobia who participated in a brief interaction rated their partner's liking for them lower than did control participants, and these ratings were significant underestimates compared to actual partner ratings (e.g., Alden &  5 Wallace, 1995). Furthermore, when asked for their interpretation of ambiguous social scenarios, people with social phobia have been found to display a negative interpretive bias compared to controls (e.g., Amir, Foa, & Coles, 1998; Stopa & Clark, 2000), although interpretive biases of ambiguous social cues in the context of actual social interactions have yet to be examined. A l l in all, these findings suggest that socially anxious individuals may exhibit biased judgments of others, in that others are viewed as generally critical, harsh evaluators. Despite the aforementioned research, not all studies have found negative interpretation biases in social phobic populations (Alden & Wallace, 1995; Lundh & Ost, 1996; Stopa & Clark, 1993). Interestingly, Alden and Wallace (1995) found that individuals with social phobia displayed a positive bias in their judgments of others on several interpersonal dimensions (e.g., warmth and self-disclosure). Furthermore, Alden and colleagues found that socially anxious and non-anxious participants did not differ in their judgments of the standards that others used to evaluate their behaviour, a finding that was also supported in a clinical population of patients with social phobia (Alden, Bieling, & Wallace, 1994; Wallace & Alden, 1995, 1997). Taken as a whole, these studies suggest that socially anxious people are primarily concerned about the adequacy of their own behaviour and that their negative self-appraisals are the result of selfrelated rather than other-related judgments. In light of these inconsistent findings, one wonders whether differences amongst these studies can be attributed to the ways in which these biases were assessed. For instance, participants' ratings were often based on how the participants believed that others would evaluate them, and did not assess the participants' interpretations of the other person (e.g., Stopa & Clark, 1993). Only Alden & Wallace (1995) asked people with social phobia to rate their partner in terms of warmth, friendliness, talkativeness, and self-disclosure, and these researchers  6 found that anxious participants displayed a positive bias in this regard. However, it remains to be established whether interpretation biases exist on other dimensions as well (e.g., control and intrusiveness). In a recent study, Alden & Koch (1999) found that some patients in treatment viewed their therapists as disinterested and non-supportive, and responded to their therapists with irritation and disapproval. Thus, there appears to be other important dimensions that need to be assessed when examining interpretative processes in people with social phobia. Another possible explanation for these mixed results is that only some social phobic patients exhibit interpretation biases pertaining to others and that these biases arise only in certain social situations. It is well known that social fears are heterogeneous; that is, different patients report fearing different types of social situations (Holt, Heimberg, & Hope, 1992; Rapee, 1995). Furthermore, interpersonal writers contend that different social developmental experiences should be translated into different types of social fears and behaviour patterns (e.g., Alden, 2001). All in all, questions regarding the nature of social interpretations in people with social phobia might be refined by considering the social learning histories of these individuals. However, no research to date has attempted to link early social experiences to social interpretations in the context of contemporary social situations. Interpersonal theorists propose that socially anxious individuals' biased social interpretations lead to the adoption of maladaptive interpersonal strategies (Alden, 2001; Baldwin & Main, 2001). Moreover, dysfunctional interpersonal behaviour is believed to evoke negative responses from others, thereby reinforcing one's beliefs and assumptions about themselves and their social world (e.g., Kiesler, 1983). Support for this proposition comes from research demonstrating that socially anxious people can elicit less positive responses from others compared to non-anxious individuals (e.g., Alden & Wallace, 1995; Jones & Carpenter, 1986;  Meleshko & Alden, 1993). Studies in our own laboratory demonstrated that others were less likely to desire future interactions with socially anxious participants compared to non-anxious controls following a brief first meeting interaction, which was largely due to the social behaviour of the anxious participants (Meleshko & Alden, 1993; Papsdorf & Alden, 1998). Specifically, socially anxious participants' overt signs of anxiety, and particularly their failure to reciprocate self-disclosures led their partners to perceive them as dissimilar and to eventually avoid future contact. Given the interpersonal variability exhibited by socially anxious individuals, one wonders whether different people with social phobia adopt different behavioural strategies to manage contemporary social interactions, and if these behaviours alienate others in different ways. However, it remains to be established whether the social behaviour of these individuals is the product of early social relationships, or whether these maladaptive interpersonal behaviours are the result of an innate inhibited temperament. Current Study In this study, the behaviour of an experimental assistant was used to create either a positive or an ambiguous social environment. Following the interaction, participants rated their partner, while the assistant rated participants' behaviour and their desire for future interactions. The following research questions were addressed: (1) Do individuals with generalized social phobia (GSP) display biases in their interpretations of others' behaviour (i.e., their interaction partner), and if so, does the extent of the bias vary depending on the nature of their partner's behaviour?; (2) Do different social developmental experiences influence GSP participants' social interpretations, behaviour, and the reactions they receive from others? Given the inconsistent findings with respect to biased interpretations in social phobic populations, there was no prediction regarding whether the GSP participants would display  interpretation biases compared to controls when rating others' behaviour. However, if such biases existed, it was anticipated that they would be especially prominent in the ambiguous condition in light of the research demonstrating that socially anxious individuals have particular difficulty with ambiguity (e.g., Amir et al., 1998; Pilkonis, 1977). It was also predicted that different social developmental experiences would differentially affect GSP participants' social interpretations, their behaviour during the interaction, and the reactions they received from their partner. Method  Participants Participants were 42 individuals seeking treatment for social phobia and 42 community volunteers. Patients were recruited from outpatient psychology programs and from posted announcements advertising for treatment of social anxiety. Control participants were recruited through advertisements in local newspapers and flyers soliciting the paid participation of individuals who were comfortable in social situations and who did not experience significant difficulties with anxiety. A l l participants were assessed using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-fV (ADIS-IV; Brown, Dinardo, & Barlow, 1994), a structured interview shown to have high interrater reliability and good concurrent validity (Brown et al., 1994). Two graduate students who were trained and experienced with the ADIS-fV conducted the assessments. In addition to the interviewer's diagnostic rating, the assessments were taperecorded and twenty-five percent of these interviews were examined by an independent rater for reliability purposes. Reliability between the two raters was high for both the clinical and nonclinical groups. To partake in the study, clinical participants were required to meet DSM-fV criteria for generalized social phobia (GSP) and to have social phobia as their predominant problem. The presence of current substance abuse or dependence, mania, or psychosis was used  9  as exclusionary criteria. See Table 1 for clinical characteristics. Community volunteers were selected for the control group if they did not meet diagnostic criteria for an anxiety or affective disorder (in addition to the exclusionary criteria listed for clinical participants). Personnel Two experimenters (1 male, 1 female) were trained to follow a scripted protocol to deliver the experimental instructions. Two undergraduate research assistants (1 female, 1 male) served as experimental confederates who were trained to display scripted verbal and nonverbal behaviours in order to provide consistent behaviour across participants. Confederates were blind to the experimental hypotheses and participant diagnosis. Additionally, one undergraduate student served as an independent observer who was trained to rate confederate and participant behaviour using the same measures used by the experimenter and confederates. Ratings made by the observer were used to check the reliability of confederate and experimenter ratings. The observer was blind to the experimental hypotheses, group assignments, and diagnostic status of the participants. Procedure Participants were informed that they would participate in an interaction with an experimental assistant of the opposite sex and would be asked to answer questions about the conversation. Following the instructions, the assistant (confederate) entered the room and was introduced to the participant. After explaining to the participant and confederate the nature of the conversation, the experimenter left the room and rated the participant's and confederate's behaviour during the interaction from behind a one-way mirror. The interaction itself consisted of a 5 minute open-ended 'getting acquainted' discussion. This getting acquainted task was used  10 because such situations are necessary first steps in forming friendships and have been shown to be problematic for socially avoidant patients (Stravynski & Shahar, 1983). After the participant and confederate interacted for 5 minutes, the experimenter returned to the room, thanked the confederate for their help and asked the participant to complete several questionnaires rating their interaction partner and their own behaviour on a series of scales (described below). After leaving the room the confederate rated the participant's behaviour and their desire to interact with the participant again in the future. Experimental Conditions. The nature of the interaction was manipulated by varying the confederate's verbal and nonverbal behaviour to create two experimental conditions. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions with the stipulation that an equal number of clinical and control participants, and an equal number of men and women within these diagnostic groups were assigned to each condition: 1) Positive, or 2) Ambiguous. In the positive condition the confederate acted in a warm and friendly manner towards the participants by: (a) providing many encouraging comments (e.g., "tell me more about that"), (b) frequently self-disclosing (e.g., expressed personal opinions), (c) speaking in a warm tone, (d) frequently asking questions, (e) keeping pauses to a minimum (i.e., allowing no more than 1-2 seconds to pass after the participant's last comment before speaking), (f) maintaining steady and comfortable eye contact, and (g) frequently nodding his or her head. In the ambiguous condition the confederate acted in a reserved but not unfriendly way towards the participants by: (a) providing few encouraging comments, (b) providing minimal self-disclosures, (c) speaking in a steady, neutral tone, (d) asking questions infrequently, (e) slightly pausing between disclosures (i.e., allowing 2-3 seconds to pass after the participant's last comment before speaking), (f) displaying only some direct eye contact and looking away for  11 brief moments (i.e., 1 second), and (g) nodding infrequently. These protocols were modeled after previous research that has used similar experimental conditions in evaluating participants' responses during social interactions (e.g., Alden & Wallace, 1995; Stopa & Clark, 1993). Prior to the beginning of the study, the confederates participated in a training program to learn the positive and ambiguous roles and to rehearse these roles so that their behaviour appeared natural rather than staged. To ensure the manipulation was successful, the experimenter rated the confederate's behaviour from behind a one-way mirror in terms of how warm and friendly, open, and actively engaged the confederates were.  Symptom Measures Social Anxiety. Participants completed the Social Phobia Scale (SPS; Mattick & Clarke, 1998) and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS; Mattick & Clarke, 1998) to assess severity of social anxiety. The SPS assesses people's fears of being observed or evaluated by others in social situations, while the SIAS assesses people's anxiety when engaging in social interactions with different kinds of companions. Both the SIAS and SPS have demonstrated good reliability and validity (Brown et al., 1997; Heimberg, Mueller, Holt, Hope, & Liebowitz, 1992; Mattick & Clarke, 1998). Depression. Participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-IJ; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996), a 21-item self-report inventory that measures the severity of depressive symptomatology. The BDI-II demonstrates good internal consistency, reliability, and validity (Beck et al., 1996; Dozois, Dobson, & Ahnberg, 1998; Steer, Ball, Ranieri, & Beck, 1997; Steer & Clark, 1997). The BDI-IJ was used to assess severity of depression and to determine if results in the current study were significantly influenced by participants' dysphoric mood.  12  Dependent Measures Social Developmental Experiences. The Social History Questionnaire (SHQ; Alden et al., 2001) was used to examine the influence of participants' social developmental experiences on their social judgments and behaviour during the interaction. The SHQ is a 35-item self-report inventory designed to assess participants' retrospective accounts of their early social experiences within the family. Factor analytic work using social phobic and non-anxious participants found four SHQ factors: (1) Emotional and physical abuse/neglect, (2) Parental alcoholism, (3) Family socializing, and (4) Parental overprotection. These researchers found patients with GSP to significantly differ from non-patient controls on three of the four SHQ scales (abuse/neglect, family socializing, and parental overprotection). Preliminary work suggested that the SHQ demonstrates good internal consistency (Alden et al.). Cronbach alpha coefficients for this sample were .91 for abuse/neglect, .89 for parental alcoholism, .79 for family socializing, and .83 for parental overprotection. Social Interpretation. Following the interaction, participants rated their partner on scales designed to reflect the two major interpersonal dimensions of warmth (versus coldness) and dominance (versus submission). Items for the interpersonal scales were selected from a variety of studies examining interpersonal judgments in samples of individuals with social phobia (Alden & Koch, 1999; Alden, Wiggins, & Pincus, 1990; Stopa & Clark, 1993), and from the Interpersonal Adjective Scale (IAS; Wiggins, 1991). The two interpersonal scales will be referred to as: Partner (1) Warmth, and (2) Dominance. Reliability of the social interpretation scales was assessed by means of Cronbach alpha coefficients and inter-item correlations. Items were dropped from their respective scale if they substantially reduced the internal consistency of that scale. The Partner Warmth scale consisted of seven items (friendly, talkative, distant,  supportive, disinterested, disapproving, open) with a Cronbach alpha coefficient of .86 for this sample. The Partner Dominance scale consisted of four items (dominant, controlling, intrusive, confident) with a resulting Cronbach alpha coefficient of .53 for this sample. One non-interpersonal scale was also included using items that were selected to reflect a dimension of desirable personal attributes (e.g., reliable) that should be difficult to assess accurately on the basis of a brief social interaction alone. This scale was used to determine whether the brief social encounter in the current study would influence participants' judgments of interpersonal characteristics alone, or whether it would affect their judgments of more global attributes as well. The non-interpersonal scale consisted of four items (competent, intelligent, organized, reliable) and will be referred to as Partner Competence. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for this sample was .76. Behaviour Ratings. The participant and confederate rated the participant's behaviour during the interaction using items to reflect two specific types of behaviour: (1) anxiety-related behaviour (appeared relaxed, trembled, looked embarrassed, fidgeted), and (2) prosocial behaviour (self-disclosed, talkative, appeared friendly, seemed interesting). Cronbach alpha coefficients for this sample were .83 for anxiety-related behaviour and .78 for prosocial behaviour, and the two scales were significantly but only moderately correlated, r(84) = -.47, p < .01, pointing towards the utility in assessing these two constructs separately. The independent observer rated participant behaviour in 30% of the interactions. Intraclass correlation coefficients for the anxiety-related behaviour and prosocial behaviour scales were .74 (p < .001) and .56 (p < .05), respectively, which indicated adequate interrater reliability between the confederate's and observer's ratings. The participant and confederate also rated the participant's global level of anxiety during the interaction on a 0 - 100 scale.  14 Desire for Future Interaction Scale. Confederates rated the extent to which they would be willing to engage in a variety of social activities with the participant. Items comprising this scale were taken from the Desire for Future Interaction Scale (DFI; Coyne, 1976), an inventory used extensively in interpersonal studies of depression. The individual items of the DFI have been shown to reliably load on a single factor (e.g., Boswell & Murray, 1981; Segrin, 1993) and DFI ratings are generally interpreted as reflecting liking or rejection of the target individual. For the purposes of the present study, the original DFI items were modified to reflect the nature of the present social interaction. Since our confederates were generally young (age 24 and 25), and our sample ranged from 20 to 61 years of age, DFI items were modified so as to limit age confounds in confederates' ratings. Specifically, confederates indicated a preference to interact with the participant or someone similar to the participant again. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for this sample was 0.92. Results  Preliminary Analyses Demographics. A 2 (group) by 2 (condition) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) conducted on age and years of education revealed no significant differences for group, F(2, 79) = 0.50, p > .10, or condition, F(2, 79) = 1.49,/? > .10. The group by condition interaction was also not significant, F(2, 79) = 0.17,/? > .10. Chi-square analyses revealed no differences between the groups in terms of gender and occupation (ps > .10). However, analyses revealed that there was a significant difference between the groups in terms of ethnicity, ^(1, N = 84) = 10.73, p < .001, and a marginally significant difference in terms of marital status, ^(1, N = 84) = 2.93, p = .087. To control for the potential effects of demographic differences on the results, all between group analyses were repeated using analyses of covariance with ethnicity and  15 marital status as covariates. The results indicated that these demographic characteristics did not influence the results, so only the original analyses are reported here. Sample characteristics by group and condition are presented in Table 2. Symptom Measures. A 2 (group) by 2 (condition) M A N O V A was conducted on the SIAS, SPS, and BDI-II scores. Results revealed a significant multivariate effect for group, F(3, 78) = 172.60,/? < .001. The condition, F(3, 78) = 0.38, p > .10, and group by condition interaction effects, F(3, 78) = 0.60, p > .10, were not significant. Follow-up univariate analyses revealed that participants with generalized social phobia (GSP) scored higher than controls on the SIAS, F{\, 80) = 522.88,p < .001, the SPS, F(\, 80) = 154.86,p < .001, and the BDI-II, F(\, 80) = 29.26, p<. 001. Manipulation Check. Experimenter ratings of confederate behaviour were summed to yield a single score with a resulting Cronbach alpha coefficient of .94 for this sample. The independent observer rated confederate behaviour in 27% of the interactions. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the confederate behaviour check was .96 (p < .001), which indicated good agreement between the experimenter's and observer's ratings. A 2 (group) by 2 (condition) by 2 (confederate) M A N O V A was conducted on the experimenter ratings of confederate behaviour. Results revealed no significant effects for group, F(l, 76) = 1.44, p > .10, or confederate, F ( l , 76) = 0.02, p > .10. A significant main effect emerged for condition, F ( l , 76) = 743.23,/? < .001, which indicated that across groups and confederates, the confederates were rated as being more friendly, self-disclosive, and actively engaged in the positive condition compared to the ambiguous condition. None of the two-way or three-way interactions were significant (all ps > 0.10), which indicated that both confederates  acted in a consistent manner across all participants in the two groups for each of the respective conditions.  Main Analyses Social Background Factors. A 2 (group) by 2 (condition) M A N O V A was conducted on the four SHQ subscales. Results revealed a significant multivariate effect for group, F(4, 77) = 10.33,/? < .001. The condition, F(4, 77) = 1.47,/? > .10, and group by condition interaction effects, F(4, 77) = 1.69,/? > .10 were not significant. Follow-up univariate analyses revealed that GSP participants reported greater levels of childhood abuse and neglect, F ( l , 80) = 5.30,/? = .024, and parental overprotection, F ( l , 80) = 15.34,/? < .001, and less family socializing, F ( l , 80) = 21.02,/? < .001 than controls. Reports of parental alcoholism did not differ between clinical and control participants, F ( l , 80) = 1.24,/? > .10. Closer examination of the distribution of the parental alcoholism scores revealed a highly positively skewed distribution, which indicated that reports of parental alcoholism were extremely rare in the present sample. Consequently, the parental alcoholism subscale was excluded from all future analyses. Social Interpretation. A 2 (group) by 2 (condition) M A N O V A was conducted on participant ratings of their interaction partner on the three dependent variable scales (see Table 3). Results revealed a significant multivariate effect for condition, F(3, 78) = 33.59,/? < .001, but not for group, F(3, 78) = 0.80,/? > .10, or the group by condition interaction, F(3, 78) = 0.26,/? > .10. Follow-up univariate analyses revealed that participants rated the confederates as more warm, F ( l , 80) = 101.27,/? < .001, and more competent, F ( l , 80) = 19.29,/? < .001, in the positive condition. However, GSP participants did not differ from controls in their ratings in either of the conditions.  17 Behaviour Ratings & Desire for Future Interaction. A 2 (group) by 2 (condition) M A N O V A was conducted on confederate ratings of the participants' behaviour during the interaction and on confederate DFI ratings. Results revealed a significant multivariate effect for group, F(3, 78) = 15.60,/? < .001, and condition, F(3, 78) = 4.86,/? = .004, but not for the group by condition interaction, F(3, 78) = 1.26,/? > .10. Follow-up univariate analyses revealed that GSP participants were rated as displaying more anxiety-related behaviours, F ( l , 80) = 40.58,/? < .001, and fewer prosocial behaviours, F ( l , 80) = 14.10,/? < .001 across both conditions compared to controls. Additionally, confederates reported less liking for the GSP group compared to controls, F ( l , 80) = 7.20,p = .009. Finally, all participants were rated as displaying fewer prosocial behaviours, F ( l , 80) = 14.75,/? < .001 and were liked less by confederates, F ( l , 80) = 5.00,/? = .028, in the ambiguous condition.  Regression Analyses Social Interpretation. Of particular interest was whether social developmental experiences influence contemporary social interpretations in people with social phobia. To address this issue a series of linear regression analyses were conducted to determine whether GSP participants' interpretations of their partners' behaviour could be predicted from their early social experiences. Predictors used in the regression analyses were three of the SHQ factors (abuse/neglect, family socializing, and overprotection), and experimental condition, which were entered simultaneously in step one of the regression equation. The three condition by SHQ factor interaction terms were entered simultaneously in step two of the regression analyses. The use of interaction terms allowed us to test the hypothesis that experimental condition might moderate the relationship between social background factors and interpretations. Given the difficulty in, detecting moderator effects in linear multiple regression, significant interactions will be  18 interpreted at a = .10 (see McClelland & Judd, 1993). The dependent variables used in the analyses were the three social interpretation scales: (1) Warmth, (2) Dominance, and (3) Competence. In light of previous research demonstrating that adverse childhood environments are associated with various forms of psychopathology such as depression (e.g., Rapee, 1997), and given that social phobia is highly comorbid with depression (e.g., Schneier, Johnson, Hornig, Liebowitz, & Weissman, 1992), we wanted to determine whether regression results were significantly influenced by depressive symptomology. Thus, all analyses were repeated entering GSP participants' BDI-II scores in step one of the regression equation to control for the potential effects of depression on the results. The results indicated that depression scores did not influence the results, so only the original analyses are reported here. Condition emerged as the only significant main effect predictor for judgments of partner warmth (AJ? = .55, p < .001). This finding indicated that confederates were rated as being more 2  warm and friendly in the positive condition compared to the ambiguous condition. The interaction between condition and abuse/neglect was also significant (Ai? = .035, p = .031), and 2  a statistical trend emerged for the interaction between condition and overprotection (Ai? = .026, 2  p - .062). See Table 6 for regression analysis predicting partner warmth. To explicate the nature of the significant interactions, post hoc analyses were conducted examining the simple regression slopes of the abuse/neglect and overprotection factors in each condition (see Aiken & West, 1991). Results revealed that abuse/neglect was negatively associated with judgments of partner warmth in the ambiguous condition (p = -.22, p - .087), whereas the association between abuse/neglect and judgments of partner warmth was not significant in the positive condition (P = .17, p > .10). See Figure 1 for graph representing the condition by abuse/neglect interaction. These results suggested that the significant interaction  19 was largely due to the negative relationship between childhood abuse/neglect and partner warmth in the ambiguous condition. For the condition by overprotection interaction, neither of the simple regression slopes were significant (both ps > .10), suggesting that the significant interaction was due to the influence of both regression slopes. An examination of the regression lines in Figure 2 indicated that GSP participants high in overprotection discriminated less in their ratings of their partners in the two conditions. For the regression analysis predicting judgments of partner dominance, no significant predictors emerged in either the main effects model (adjusted R = .066, p > .10), or in the model 2  including the interaction terms (AR = .067, p > .10). Thus, in the context of the present interaction, partner dominance did not appear to be significantly influenced by social developmental experiences nor by the nature of the experimental manipulation itself. Condition significantly predicted judgments of partner competence (AR = .088,/? = 2  .048), which indicated that confederates were rated as being more competent in the positive condition compared to the ambiguous condition: The condition by abuse/neglect interaction was also significant (AR = .100,/? = .021), and the condition by overprotection interaction was marginally significant (Ai? = .049, p = .098). See Table 7 for regression analysis predicting 2  partner competence. A n examination of the significant main and interaction effects revealed a pattern of results analogous to those found for partner warmth. To better understand this pattern of results, an examination of the correlations between social interpretation variables revealed a significant positive correlation between participant judgments of partner warmth and competence, r(42) = .55, p < .001. Thus, participants who judged their partner as being warm and friendly also judged them to be competent.  20 Supplementary Analyses. In light of previous research demonstrating that adverse childhood environments are associated with greater difficulties with social interactions (Alden et al., 2001), we wanted to determine whether GSP participants' social judgments in the present study were due to symptom severity. Participants' anxiety during the interaction and severity of social phobic symptoms were considered as potential mediators in the relationship between social developmental factors and social judgments. To first establish the presence of a significant mediating pathway, correlations were calculated between the potential mediators (i.e., SIAS and SPS scores, and participant ratings of post-interaction anxiety), the predictor variables (i.e., SHQ factors), and the dependent variables (i.e., social interpretation variables) for each of the two conditions (see Baron & Kenny, 1986). Family socializing and partner dominance were excluded from the correlation analysis given that they were not significant in any of the regression analyses. Results revealed that there were no significant associations between the predictor variables and the potential mediators (ps > .05), or between the potential mediators and dependent variables (ps > .05). See Table 8 for correlation matrix. These results indicated that GSP participants who reported greater childhood abuse/neglect or overprotection did not demonstrate more severe social phobic symptoms and that symptom severity was not related to social judgments. This suggests that a direct relationship between participants' social developmental experiences and social judgments explains the present findings. Behaviour Ratings. Interpersonal models of psychopathology propose that biased interpretation of social events leads to the adoption of maladaptive behavioural strategies, which in turn can elicit negative responses from others (e.g., Alden, 2001; Kiesler, 1983). To examine this proposition, two separate linear regression analyses were conducted to determine whether GSP participants' anxiety-related and prosocial behaviours could be predicted from their social  21 developmental experiences. In accordance with interpersonal theories, only those SHQ factors that were significant predictors in the social interpretation regression analyses were retained for the purposes of predicting GSP participants' behaviours. Thus, abuse/neglect, overprotection, and experimental condition were entered simultaneously in step one of the regression equation. The two condition by SHQ factor interaction terms were entered simultaneously in step two of the regression equation. The dependent variables were observer ratings of GSP participants' anxiety-related and prosocial behaviours. For anxiety-related behaviours, neither the main effects model (adjusted R = .025, p > 2  .10), nor the interaction model (AR = .007, p > .10) contained any significant predictors. For 2  prosocial behaviours, condition (AR = .204, p = .002) and overprotection (AR = .131,/? = .010) 2  2  emerged as significant main effect predictors. Specifically, GSP participants displayed fewer prosocial behaviours in the ambiguous condition, and greater overprotection was associated with fewer prosocial behaviours across both conditions. No significant interactions emerged (AR = .001,/? > .10). See Table 9 for regression analysis predicting prosocial behaviours. Desire for Future Interaction. A liner regression analysis was conducted in order to determine whether confederate DFI ratings could be predicted from GSPs' social developmental experiences. Given that overprotection emerged as the only significant SHQ factor to predict GSP participants' behaviour, this was the only social background factor used for predicting confederate DFI ratings. As a result, condition and overprotection were entered simultaneously in step one of the regression equation, and the condition by overprotection interaction was entered in step two (see Table 10). Results revealed a significant main effect for condition (AR = .120,/? = .024), which indicated that confederates reported less liking for participants in the ambiguous condition. The condition by overprotection interaction was also significant (AR =  22 .086,/? = .046). Follow-up analyses revealed that confederate DFI ratings were negatively associated with overprotection in the positive condition (p = -.56, p = .013), whereas the association between overprotection and DFI ratings was not significant in the ambiguous condition (P = .04, p > .10). Given the emergence of parental overprotection as a significant predictor in the above regression analyses, we wanted to determine whether participants' prosocial behaviour during the interaction mediated the relationship between social developmental experiences and confederate DFI ratings. Stated another way, were GSP participants with backgrounds marked by parental overprotection liked less by their interaction partners because they displayed fewer prosocial behaviours? A n examination of the correlations between overprotection (the predictor variable), prosocial behaviours (the potential mediator), and confederate DFI ratings (the dependent variable) within each of the experimental conditions, revealed significant associations between these three variables in the positive condition only (rs = .48 - .66, ps < .05). These significant correlations supported the first three conditions that must be met for a variable to attain mediator status (Baron & Kenny, 1986). The final condition that must be met for the mediational model to hold is that the effect of the predictor on the dependent variable must be significantly less when entered in conjunction with the mediator than when entered alone (Baron & Kenny). To examine this final assumption, overprotection and prosocial behaviours were entered in steps one and two of the regression analysis, respectively, in order to predict confederate DFI ratings in the positive condition. Results revealed that the effect of overprotection on confederate DFI ratings was significantly reduced when entered in combination with prosocial behaviours than when entered alone, t(\8) = -2.18,p < .05 (see Howell, 1997, for calculations). This analysis indicated that GSP participants' prosocial  behaviours mediated the relationship between parental overprotection and confederates' liking in the positive condition. Discussion As a group, people with social phobia did not interpret their partners' behaviour differently than did the community control group. However, some individuals with social phobia, notably those with social developmental histories marked by parental overprotection and emotional and physical abuse, did display distinct patterns of social interpretation. In addition, early social environments characterized by overprotection affected the behaviour of people with social phobia, and, in turn, their partner's liking for them. The absence of between group differences in participants' interpretations of their partner's behaviour is consistent with studies that found no differences between social phobic and non-phobic populations in their thoughts about their partner during a social interaction task (Stopa & Clark, 1993) and in their interpretations of photographed facial expressions (Lundh & Ost, 1996). However, these results are inconsistent with clinical descriptions of people with social phobia as prone to view others as critical evaluators (e.g., Beck et al., 1985; Clark, 2001), and with previous studies finding evidence of negative social interpretations in socially anxious populations (Amir et al., 1998; Stopa & Clark, 2000; Leary et al., 1988; Maddux et al., 1988; Pozo et al., 1991). One explanation for these discrepant findings is differences in the assessment of social interpretations. In the present study, participants rated their partner's behaviour itself, whereas in studies of nonclinical populations participants were asked to rate how the other person would respond to them (e.g., Leary et al.). Moreover, previous studies often assessed participants' perceptions in the context of hypothetical social scenarios, whereas the current study involved a face-to-face interaction. Thus, it is possible that the negative interpretative  24 biases found in previous studies were primarily due to socially anxious individuals' negatively biased self-views rather than as a result of biases in interpretation of others' behaviour. The only previous study asking participants to rate their partner's behaviour found that people with social phobia displayed a positive bias compared to objective observers' ratings (Alden & Wallace, 1995). It should be noted, however, that participants in that study rated only partner warmth and openness, whereas the present study assessed a more comprehensive array of interpersonal characteristics. All in all, future studies would likely benefit from examining social interpretations in the context of social interactions and assessing an inclusive array of interpersonal qualities. Consistent with previous studies, social phobic participants displayed more anxietyrelated behaviours and fewer prosocial behaviours compared to controls across both conditions (Alden & Wallace, 1995; Bruch, Gorsky, Collins, & Berger, 1989; Leary, 1983; Meleshko & Alden, 1993; Pilkonis, 1977). In addition, these people were liked less by their partners compared to community controls. These results supported previous findings demonstrating that social phobic participants generally display less effective social behaviour and can engender more negative responses from others during first-meeting social interactions compared to nonanxious individuals (e.g., Alden & Wallace, 1995; Jones & Carpenter, 1986). The unique contribution of this research was to establish a link between the early social experiences of people with social phobia and their current social interpretations, interpersonal behaviour, and the reactions they receive from others. In general, social phobic participants' interpretations of their partner's behaviour were influenced to the greatest extent by family backgrounds characterized by emotional and physical abuse/neglect or overprotection, and were little influenced by family socializing. Specifically, when confronted with ambiguous social  25 cues, people with social phobia reporting greater abuse and neglect tended to view their partners as being less warm and friendly. However, when presented with a partner who responded positively, no such relationship was found. These results are consistent with the prediction that interpretation bias would be especially prominent in the ambiguous condition, and suggested that ambiguity might be particularly difficult for these patients. This finding is noteworthy given that social stimuli can often be ambiguous in nature, and is consistent with the notion that past experiences may be particularly salient in guiding people's interpretations of social events when the environmental cues present are less clearly defined (e.g., Beck et al., 1985). Participants with social phobia reporting greater levels of parental overprotection tended to discriminate less between the positive and ambiguous partners. One wonders whether early environments characterized by parental control and intrusiveness prevents some children from acquiring the necessary skills to form their own judgments about others. This proposition is supported by writers who suggest that extreme parental control may communicate to children that they are not competent to make decisions without parental input (e.g., Morris, 2001). Furthermore, other researchers found parental overinvolvement was associated with less child response to social environments (e.g., Rubin & Burgess, 2001). It should be noted, however, that the degree to which participants attended to their partner's behaviour (versus other environmental cues or their own behaviour) was not assessed. This issue could be addressed in future research by assessing the degree to which people with social phobia use self- versus otherrelated information in their social judgments (see Alden & Meltings, 2002). According to interpersonal writers, socially anxious individuals' biased interpretations lead to the adoption of maladaptive behavioural strategies, which in turn, elicit negative responses from others (Alden, 2001; Kiesler, 1983). This proposition was confirmed for people  26 with social phobia who reported greater levels of parental overprotection. These participants displayed fewer prosocial behaviours regardless of their partner's behaviour. This finding is in keeping with research showing that socially anxious individuals tended to disclose at a moderate level of intimacy regardless of their partner's behaviour (Meleshko & Alden, 1993). Interestingly, the behaviour of individuals reporting more overprotection led to partner rejection, and this rejection effect occurred only in the positive condition. This finding is consistent with previous research demonstrating that socially anxious students tended to selfdisclose less than nonanxious controls, and that failure to reciprocate others' disclosures can lead to rejection (Papsdorf & Alden, 1998). The fact that rejection was found only in the positive condition is consistent with research demonstrating that people prefer those who reciprocate their level of disclosure (Collins & Miller, 1994). In the ambiguous condition, confederates were less self-disclosive, and therefore, the impact of participants' low disclosure may have been less. A l l in all, these results suggest that for some individuals with social phobia, particularly those whose parents were overprotective, intimacy and self-disclosure may by particularly difficult and may need to be addressed more explicitly in treatment. Interestingly, no significant relationships were found between participants' reports of childhood abuse and neglect and their behaviour during the interaction. Although participants with backgrounds marked by abuse and neglect viewed their partner more negatively in the ambiguous condition, these judgments did not translate into behaviour. While these findings do not conform to interpersonal models, it is possible that the interaction was too brief to elicit notable behaviour. This proposition is supported by research conducted in our own laboratory, which measured therapists' and social phobic patients' interpersonal judgments during the treatment process (Alden et al., 2001). Although social developmental experiences exerted few  27 effects on social judgments at the beginning of treatment, patients with backgrounds of emotional and physical abuse were viewed by their therapists as more irritable and resistant towards the end of treatment. Although these participants' behaviour in the current study was initially unremarkable, it is.possible that over time they would display behaviour that would elicit negative responses from others. Future research examining social situations of greater duration or across repeated interactions is warranted. Although significant associations were found between early social experiences and current social interpretations and behaviour in people with social phobia, it is important to note that these social background factors may not be unique to social phobia, and in fact have been implicated in the etiology of other forms of psychopathology such as depression (Rapee, 1997). Consequently, the current pattern of findings may also be found in other psychological disorders. However, when severity of depression was controlled for the results did not significantly change, which suggested that the relationship between social background factors and social judgments and behaviour was not due to comorbid depression. Despite this finding, one must consider that similar patterns of social interpretations and behaviour may be seen to occur in other clinical syndromes. The present findings have a number of implications for our understanding of social phobia. This research is consistent with the relational schema approach described by Baldwin and colleagues who highlight the importance of understanding peoples' perceptions of themselves in relation to others, rather than in isolation (e.g., Baldwin, 1992; Baldwin & Fergusson, 2001). These writers propose that early social experiences are represented in the form of relational schemas, which are believed to represent consistencies in patterns of interpersonal interactions distilled in memory in the form of cognitive structures. Interpersonal theorists go on  28 to suggest that situational cues reminiscent of significant past events can activate these schemas and influence the interpretation of contemporary social events (e.g., Baldwin & Fergusson, 2001; Strupp & Binder, 1984). In support of this proposition, previous research has demonstrated that bringing to mind information about different significant others can influence people's mood and self-esteem (Baldwin, 1994, 1995; Baldwin, Carrell, & Lopez, 1990), and that activation of an accepting or rejecting relational schema can have a significant impact on socially anxious individuals' ratings of their mood and behaviour (Baldwin & Main, 2001). These results also contribute to our understanding of how different socially anxious individuals manage contemporary social events, and the implications these behaviours have in terms of how others react to them. This is particularly important given that interpersonal writers suggest that others' responses are pivotal in maintaining social fears (see Alden, 2001). Bringing together the results of the current study and previous research, it is evident that different social learning histories in people with social phobia translate into distinctive patterns of behaviour, which in turn can influence the way in which others respond to them. All in all, these findings suggest that the behaviours of different social phobic patients may alienate others in different ways, thereby maintaining these individuals negative beliefs about the self and others. This research might also help resolve inconsistencies found in past research examining social judgments in socially anxious populations. As noted earlier, it is possible that only some social phobic patients display biases in judgments of others' behaviour and that these biases arise only in certain social situations. The results are also consistent with studies demonstrating significant interpersonal variability in socially phobic and avoidant populations (Alden & Capreol, 1993; Kachin et al., 2001). It is possible that the considerable heterogeneity of social fears in socially anxious individuals also extends to their social judgments and behaviour,  29 thereby obscuring between group comparisons. In summary, these results suggested that questions regarding the nature of social interpretations in social phobic populations might be refined by considering the early social experiences of these individuals Importantly, this study would appear to have significant implications for the treatment of individuals with social phobia. First, it underscores the importance of considering the interpersonal process in the treatment of these patients. Given the interpersonal nature of therapy, one can appreciate how treatment may serve to activate the same fears and behaviour patterns characteristic of socially anxious people in their daily lives. Furthermore, this research may have implications for our understanding of what treatment interventions would best suit particular patients with social phobia. For instance, some patients may benefit more from interventions with a greater behavioural focus (e.g., encouraging self-disclosure), while other patients may require interventions that specifically target negative beliefs about others and biased social interpretations. Tailoring treatment regimens based on these patients' unique interpersonal difficulties is supported by previous research demonstrating that individuals with Avoidant Personality Disorder who exhibited different types of interpersonal problem profiles responded better to some treatment interventions than others (Alden & Capreol, 1993). A number of caveats should be noted regarding these results. This study examined social interpretations in a brief first-meeting situation conducted in a laboratory setting, and generalizability to naturalistic settings or different interpersonal situations needs to be established. Furthermore, the nature of the present interaction did not exert a significant influence on participants' judgments of partner dominance. It is possible that a more active and collaborative type of task that has parallels with techniques used in therapy might create a stronger pull for these types of judgments (see Bieling & Alden, 2001). However, a first-meeting  30 situation such as this is worthy of study because socially anxious individuals report considerable distress in first-meeting situations, and these types of interactions are necessary in order to develop intimate relationships. It should also be noted that the size of the clinical sample in this study was modest, which is particularly important given the presence of significant interactions in several of the regression analyses. A final caveat worth mention relates to the use of retrospective reports in assessing participants' early social experiences. Although concerns have been raised that patients' reports of childhood events may be due in part to biased memories or reports associated with psychiatric symptoms (Maughan & Rutter, 1997; Paris, 1997), the social developmental factors assessed in the present study have generally been corroborated by observational and prospective studies (e.g., Hudson & Rapee, 2001; Johnson, Smailes, Cohen, Brown, & Bernstein, 2000; Mills & Rubin, 1998; Rubin & Mills, 1990). Regardless of the nature of these retrospective reports, the present findings suggested that there is a meaningful relationship between social phobic patients' recollections of their childhoods and their current social judgments and behaviour. Research is needed to elucidate these interpretation and behavioural patterns in different sorts of interpersonal situations. 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OCD = Obsessive-compulsive disorder.  4.8 0  42 Table 2  Demographic Characteristics for Groups and Conditions Social phobia Variable  Positive  Ambiguous  Control Positive  Ambiguous  30.71 (11.79)  34.14 (11.61)  32.38 (8.56)  33.33 (11.67)  14.86 (1.65)  15.71 (2.35)  15.48 (2.16)  16.05 (2.58)  Ethnicity (%) Caucasian Asian East Indian Latin American Middle Eastern Other  57.1 23.8 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8  61.9 14.3 4.8 4.8 9.5 4.8  95.2 4.8 0 0 0 0  85.7 4.8 9.5 0 0 0  First Language (%) English European Asian Middle Eastern  81.0 9.5 4.8 4.8  76.2 9.5 4.8 9.5  85.7 9.5 4.8 0  85.7 9.5 0 4.8  Gender (% female)  47.6  47.6  47.6  47.6  Marital Status (%) Never married Married/Common-law Separated/Divorced  81.0 19.0 0  76.2 19.0 4.8  61.9 28.6 9.5  57.1 33.3 9.5  Occupation Unemployed/student 19.0 52.4 Student 14.3 Professional/business Tradesman/labourer 4.8 0 Retail/office assistant Self-employed/small bus . 0 Other (i.e., homemaker) 9.5  23.8 33.3 14.3 9.5 9.5 4.8 4.8  9.5 47.6 19.0 14.3 0 4.8 4.8  9.5 42.9 9.5 4.8 19.0 9.5 4.8  Age  Education (years)  Note. Standard deviations in parentheses.  43 Table 3  Means and Standard Deviations for Symptom Measures Social phobia  Control  Variable  Positive  Ambiguous  Positive  SIAS  53.93 (8.92)  51.07 (11.71)  10.67 (5.12)  11.97 (5.45)  SPS  36.86 (14.08)  32.81 (15.30)  4.90 (3.87)  6.29 (4.05)  BDI-II  20.05 (15.08)  16.05 (11.86)  6.19 (5.52)  5.59 (5.05)  Ambiguous  Note. Standard deviations in parentheses. SIAS = Social Interaction Anxiety Scale; SPS = Social Phobia Scale; BDI-II = Beck Depression Inventory n.  Table 4  Means and Standard Deviations for Social Background Factors Social phobia Variable  Positive  Abuse/Neglect  17.67 (8.20)  Parental Alcoholism  7.38 (4.39)  Ambiguous  •  Control Positive  Ambiguous  21.74 (7.89)  15.38 (6.67)  16.10 (8.66)  6.43 (4.57)  5.43 (3.17)  6.38 (4.20)  Family Socializing  11.95 (3.77)  9.21 (3.42)  14.62 (4.25) .  14.24 (3.88)  Parental Overprotection  12.36 (3.82)  10.94 (4.21)  8.45 (3.83)  8.45 (2.99)  Note. Standard deviations in parentheses.  45 Table 5  Means and Standard Deviations for Dependent Measures Social phobia Variable  Positive  Ambiguous  Control Positive  Ambiguous  Social Interpretation Warmth  39.90 (4.12)  28.17 (3.79)  39.05 (4.72)  28.67 (6.92)  Dominance  12.86 (2.65)  11.62 (3.88)  12.90 (3.25)  12.24 (3.91)  Competence  20.90 (2.41)  17.83 (4.07)  21.81 (2.77)  18.71 (3.39)  Behaviour Ratings Anxiety  11.05 (4.46)  13.33 (4.28)  7.33 (2.06)  7.38 (2.44)  Prosocial Behaviours  22.14 (2.43)  19.19 (3.66)  23.48 (1.69)  22.10 (2.14)  DFI Ratings  31.48 (3.56)  29.10 (3.90)  33.29 (3.85)  31.86 (4.27)  Note. Standard deviations in parentheses. Anxiety = anxiety-related behaviours. DFI = desire for future interaction (confederate ratings).  46 Table 6 Regression Analyses Predicting Partner Warmth from Social Background Factors (N = 42) Variable  B  SE_B  3  Step 1 Condition  5.83  0.71  .83***  Abuse/Neglect  -0.03  0.08  -.03  Family Socializing  -0.00  0.18  -.00  Overprotection  -0.02  0.16  -.01  Condition  5.76  0.66  .82***  Abuse/Neglect  -0.02  0.08  -.03  Family Socializing  0.08  0.17  .04  Overprotection  -0.07  0.16  -.04  Condition x Abuse/Neglect  -0.17  0.08  -.19*  Condition x Family Socializing  0.03  0.17  .02  Condition x Overprotection  0.30  0.16  .17*  Step 2  Note. Adjusted R = .67 (p < .001) for Step 1; Ai? = .064 (p = .041) for Step 2. 2  2  V < .10 (marginally significant). *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.  47 Table 7 Regression Analyses Predicting Partner Competence from Social Background Factors (N = 42) Variable  :  B  SEB  B  Step 1 Condition  1.19  0.58  .33*  Abuse/Neglect  -0.07  0.07  -.17  Family Socializing  0.11  0.15  .11  Overprotection  0.07  0.13  .08  Condition  1.21  0.53  .34*  Abuse/Neglect  -0.07  0.06  -.16  Family Socializing  0.15  0.14  .15  Overprotection  -0.01  0.12  -.02  Condition x Abuse/Neglect  -0.15  0.06  -.32*  Condition x Family Socializing  -0.22  0.14  -.21  Condition x Overprotection  0.21  0.12  .23  Step 2  Note. Adjusted R = .14 (p = .045) for Step 1; A/? = .19 for Step 2(p = .020). 2  2  ^p < .10 (marginally significant). *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.  t  48 Table 8 Correlations Between Symptom Measures, Social Background Factors, and Social Interpretation Variables for GSPs Variable  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  Positive Condition (n = 21) 1. SIAS  .48*  2. SPS  .36  .14  .04  .37  -.19  -.22  .53*  .30  -.15  .27  -.06  .17  3. BDI-H  ,34  4. Anxiety  —  5. Abuse/Neglect  .•25  . .04  .16  .34  .16  .30  .14  .17  —  .04  .28  .22  —  -.32  -.22  -  .56**  6. Overprotection 7. Warmth 8. Competence  Ambiguous Condition (n = 21) .36  .53*  •24  .13  -.24  -.07  2. SPS  -.09  .52*  .13  .16  -.33  -.03  3. BDI-n  —  .09  -.02  .07  .03  -.08  —  -.23  -.20  -.38  .13  —  -.12  -.43  -.44  —  .28  .27  -  .30  l.SIAS  4. Anxiety 5. Abuse/Neglect 6. Overprotection 7. Warmth 8. Competence  .61**  Note. GSP = Generalized Social Phobia; SIAS = Social Interaction Anxiety Scale; SPS = Social Phobia Scale; BDI-II = Beck Depression Inventory II; Anxiety = Participant ratings of global interaction anxiety. *p<.05. **p<.01.  ***p<.001.  50 Table 9 Regression Analyses Predicting Prosocial Behaviours from Social Background Factors (N = 42) Variable  B  p  SE_B  Step 1 Condition  1.60 .  0.47  .47**  Abuse/Neglect  -0.05  0.06  -.12  Overprotection  -0.31  0.11  Condition  1.60  0.48  .47**  Abuse/Neglect  -0.05  0.06  -.12  Overprotection  -0.31  0.12  -.37*  Condition x Abuse/Neglect  -0.01  0.06  -.03  Condition x Overprotection  -0.01  0.12  -.01  .  -.37**  Step 2  Note. Adjusted R = .28 (p = .001) for Step 1; M 2  2  = .001 for Step 2 (p > .10).  V < .10 (marginally significant). *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.  51 Table 10 Regression Analyses Predicting DFI Ratings from Social Background Factors (N = 42) Variable  B  B  SE B  Step 1 Condition  1.35  0.58  .35*  Overprotection  -0.22  0.14  -.23  Condition  1.37  0.55  .36*  Overprotection  -0.25  0.14  -.26  Condition x Overprotection  0.29  0.14  .30*  Step 2  "  '  n  f  11  Note. DFI = Desire for Future Interaction (confederate ratings). Adjusted R = .104 (p = .044) for Step 1; AR = .086 (p = .046) for Step 2. 2  V < . 10 (marginally significant). *p < . 05. **/?<.01. ***/?<.001.  Figure 1. Simple regression slopes of the condition by abuse/neglect interaction in predicting partner warmth in the positive and ambiguous conditions for GSP participants. The negative association between abuse/neglect and judgments of partner warmth in the ambiguous condition was marginally significant (p = .087), whereas the association between abuse/neglect and judgments of partner warmth in the positive condition was not significant (p > .10).  50 40 *  30  — — Ambiguous - - - Positive  ^ 20  0 0  10  20  30  Abuse/Neglect  40  50  53  Figure 2. Simple regression slopes of the condition by overprotection interaction in predicting partner warmth in the positive and ambiguous conditions for GSP participants. Neither of the simple regression slopes were significant (both ps > .10), suggesting that the significant interaction was due to the influence of both regression slopes.  - - - Positive Ambiguous  Overprotection  

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