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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social anxiety and depression: interpersonal behavior and reactions Meleshko, Kenneth George Andrew


The present study examined the self-disclosure of socially anxious and depressed-mood women students within the context of a face-to-face dyadic interaction. It also examined the influence of the interaction on their levels of affect, physiological arousal, and acceptance of their partners. The impact of the interaction on their partners' affect and acceptance was also explored. The results showed that anxious and depressed-mood subjects exhibited different, and specific patterns of inappropriate disclosure. The socially anxious subjects exhibited reduced amounts of nonreciprocal disclosure which was best characterized as moderate in nature. The depressed-mood subjects displayed increased amounts of overly intimate, negatively valanced disclosure. The results also indicated that before the interaction the subjects varied on the measures of affect and arousal as a function of their status on the subject selection variables and that the interaction had different effects on the different types of subjects. The socially anxious subjects were characterized by lower preinteraction levels of positive affect and higher levels of negative affect. The interaction had a negative effect on them, it maintained their low levels of positive affect, high levels of negative affect, and increased their levels of physiological arousal. The depressed mood subjects were characterized by lower preinteraction levels of positive affect, and higher levels of negative affect and physiological arousal. The interaction was positive for them, however, as they experienced increases in their positive affect and decreases in their negative affect. The socially anxious subjects were rejected by their partners but induced neither positive nor negative affect in them. The depressed-mood subjects were not rejected by their partners but created an ambivalent emotional reaction in them. The results are discussed within an interpersonal framework and suggest that a reinterpretation of Coyne's (1976) model provides a good conceptual framework to explain these, and other recent results. The possible developmental framework for maladaptive interpersonal behaviours is explored within a modification of Arkin's (1981) social motivational model. The results of this study are also discussed in the context of a tripartite model of anxiety and depression and provide partial support for that model.

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