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Fears of receiving compassion from others predict safety behaviour use in social anxiety disorder over and above fears of negative self-portrayal


Fears of receiving compassion from others predict safety behaviour use in social anxiety disorder over and above fears of negative self-portrayal



Journal of Anxiety Disorders 80: 102387



ISSN/ISBN: 0887-6185

PMID: 33799174

DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2021.102387

Why do people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) engage in the use of safety behaviours? While past research has established that fears of negative self-portrayal are strongly associated with safety behaviour use in SAD, no research to date has investigated the potential role of fears of receiving compassion. Both types of fears could motivate those with SAD to engage in safety behaviours in order to keep others at a distance. In the present study, 150 participants with a clinical diagnosis of SAD completed measures of fears of negative self-portrayal, fears of receiving compassion, and safety behaviour use. Multiple regression analyses revealed that when controlling for self-portrayal fears, fears of receiving compassion significantly predicted increased use of safety behaviours overall, as well as the use of avoidance and impression management subtypes. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction effect in which greater fears of receiving compassion predicted greater use of impression management at lower levels of self-portrayal fears. We discuss the implications of our findings for addressing safety behaviours in the treatment of SAD.

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Accession: 071774543

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