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J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2009 Jun;40(2):283-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2008.12.004. Epub 2008 Dec 25.

Social anxiety and emotional suppression: the mediating role of beliefs.

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Psychopathology Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


There is mounting evidence to suggest that social anxiety is associated with the suppression of emotional expression. The current study examined self-reported emotional suppression and beliefs about expressing emotions among undergraduate students (n=95). Socially anxious undergraduates reported greater use of emotional suppression compared to their non-socially anxious peers. They also reported greater ambivalence about emotional expression, more difficulties in emotional responding, more fears of emotional experiences, and more negative beliefs about emotional expression. Believing that emotional expression must be kept in control and is a sign of weakness partially mediated the association between social anxiety and emotional suppression.

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