The interpretation of negative social events in social phobia

Changes during treatment and relationship to outcome

Judith K. Wilson, Ronald M. Rapee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


Catastrophic interpretations of negative social events are considered to be an important factor underlying social phobia. This study investigated the extent to which these interpretative biases change during cognitive-behavioural treatment for social phobia, and examined whether within-treatment changes in different types of interpretations predict longer-term treatment outcome. Results showed that treatment was associated with decreases in various types of maladaptive interpretations of negative social events, but that social phobia symptoms 3 months after treatment were independently predicted only by within-treatment reductions in the degree to which individuals personally believed that negative social events were indicative of unfavourable self-characteristics. These findings are discussed in relation to cognitive models of the maintenance of social anxiety, and implications for treatment are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-389
Number of pages17
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

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