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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An exploratory study of two approaches to social anxiety, symptom-accepting, positive reinterpretation and symptom-controlling, progressive relaxation Hodge, Catherine Theresa


This study examined the differential effects of an audiotaped progressive relaxation message and an audiotaped positive reinterpretation message, repeatedly presented over three sessions to socially anxious subjects. Self report measures of social anxiety, attitude towards anxiety, coping effectiveness, and acceptance of anxious self, and the frequency of action taken in target situations were examined. The subjects were 14 males and females aged 19-38 (M=26.14) who were randomly assigned to either positive reinterpretation or progressive relaxation treatment condition. Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated no clear statistically significant support for the superiority of one treatment approach over the other, or for the uniform differential effectiveness of the two treatments over time. There was a significant difference between the two groups on the measure of social anxiety but this difference was time dependent, that is, time interacted positively with one group relative to the other group at follow-up, and the reverse was true at post-test. Effect size indicated clinically meaningful differences between treatment groups on attitude towards anxiety and on acceptance of anxious self.

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