Date of Award
Master of Arts (AM/MA)
Quality of interpersonal relationships is a strong predictor of mental and physical health outcomes (Cacioppo, & Hawkley, 2003) and individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) report increased relationship impairment (Schneier et al., 1994). Evidence from the interpersonal literature suggests that individuals with SAD exhibit interpersonal constraint, in that they rate themselves as colder and more restricted in the amount of warmth they display with close others (Rodebaugh, Bielak, Vidovic, & Moscovitch, 2016). This study aimed to determine behavioral differences in the provision and receipt of support behaviors as a function of generalized SAD (GSAD). Participants (n = 92) and their friends (n = 92) completed two support tasks alternating between providing and receiving support on a chosen topic. These interactions were recorded and reviewed by coders, using the Social Support Interaction Coding System (Pasch & Bradbury, 1998; Pasch, Bradbury, & Davila, 1997). Structural equation modeling was used to determine that individuals with GSAD and their friends engaged in fewer positive and fewer neutral helper, b = 1.31, p = .049, and helpee, b = 1.70, p = .012, behaviors, as compared to individuals with no SAD (NOSAD) and their friends. However, there were no significant differences in the number of participant, b = 0.12, p = .224, d = .25, and friend, b = 0.10, p = .329, d = .20, total support behaviors as a function of GSAD status. Results suggest there may be significant differences in how GSAD dyads provide and receive support. Clinical implications of this research suggest that helping individuals with SAD develop and practice adaptive support behaviors may be beneficial, as their engagement in fewer positive or neutral behaviors within close friendships may contribute to their reports of interpersonal impairment.
Chair and Committee
Thomas L. Rodebaugh
Thomas Oltmanns, Ph.D., Renee Thompson, Ph.D.
Piccirillo, Marilyn, "The Effect of Social Anxiety on Social Support Behavior in Close Friendships" (2016). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 980.