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Clin Psychol Sci. 2014 Mar 1;2(2):187-201.

Affective and Self-Esteem Instability in the Daily Lives of People with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder.

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Department of Psychology, George Mason University.


Research on affect and self-esteem in social anxiety disorder (SAD) has focused on trait or average levels, but we know little about the dynamic patterns of these experiences in the daily lives of people with SAD. We asked 40 adults with SAD and 39 matched healthy controls to provide end-of-day reports on their affect and self-esteem over two weeks. Compared to healthy adults, participants with SAD exhibited greater instability of negative affect and self-esteem, though the self-esteem effect was driven by mean level differences. The SAD group also demonstrated a higher probability of acute changes in negative affect and self-esteem (i.e., from one assessment period to the next), as well as difficulty maintaining positive states and improving negative states (i.e., dysfunctional self-regulation). Our findings provide insights on the phenomenology of SAD, with particular attention to the temporal dependency, magnitude of change, and directional patterns of psychological experiences in everyday life.


emotion; emotional control; individual differences; self-esteem; social anxiety

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