Interpersonal and Emotional Processes in Generalized Anxiety Disorder Analogues During Social Interaction Tasks

Thane M. Erickson, Michelle G. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Persons with chronic worry and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) report maladaptive social cognitions, interpersonal behaviors, and emotional regulation. Because research has neither investigated these processes in actual social situations nor explored whether they take heterogeneous forms, the present study provides the first attempt to do so in a laboratory investigation. GAD analogue participants and nonanxious controls interacted with confederates in an unstructured collaborative story construction task and an emotional disclosure task with standardized confederate behavior. In both tasks, relative to controls, some GAD analogues highly overestimated, whereas others markedly underestimated, their negative (Hostile-Submissive) interpersonal impact on confederates. Although GAD analogues, as a group, exhibited greater sad affect during disclosures than controls, their openness during disclosures and liking by confederates varied with their level of misestimation of negative interpersonal impact. Results underscore the need to further explore interpersonal processes in chronic worriers and how they may exacerbate or maintain dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-377
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Therapy
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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