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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology