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J Anxiety Disord. 1999 May-Jun;13(3):271-92.

Multimodal comparisons of social phobia subtypes and avoidant personality disorder.

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  • 1Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA.


The purpose of the present study was to further clarify the behavioral, physiological, and verbal response of patients with circumscribed social (speech) phobia, generalized social phobia without avoidant personality disorder, and generalized social phobia with avoidant personality disorder. Patients completed a battery of verbal report instruments and participated in two behavioral assessment tests. Measures of avoidance/escape behavior, cardiac response, level of behavioral skill, state anxiety, and positive and negative self-statements during performance were collected. Significant differences across response domains were found between the circumscribed social phobia and the generalized groups. Most of the distinctions were between individuals with circumscribed social phobia and those with both generalized social phobia and avoidant personality disorder, with the former group having less overall psychopathology. In addition, there was substantial overlap of problems between generalized social phobia individuals with and without avoidant personality disorder. Implications for the conceptualization of social phobia are discussed in terms of the differences among social phobia subtypes.

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