The structure of social-evaluative threat detection in social anxiety disorder

Quincy J. J. Wong*, Peter M. McEvoy, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The integrated aetiological and maintenance (IAM) model of social anxiety disorder (SAD) conceptualises four social-evaluative cognitive processes (anticipatory processing, attention to the self, attention to threat in the environment, and post-event processing) as facets of a social-evaluative threat detection construct. The current study tested this by examining potential factor structures underlying the four social-evaluative cognitive processes. Baseline data from two randomised controlled trials, consisting of 306 participants with SAD who completed measures of the four social-evaluative cognitive processes in relation to a speech task, were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. Model fit indices and bifactor model indices showed that the optimal factor structure was a bifactor model with a Social-evaluative Threat Detection General Factor and two group factors corresponding to anticipatory processing and post-event processing. Analyses also indicated that the Social-evaluative Threat Detection General Factor had moderate to large associations with other constructs in the IAM model, whereas the two group factors only had small associations with these constructs. These findings suggest that the four social-evaluative cognitive processes can be unified as facets of a social-evaluative threat detection process, consistent with the IAM model, although group factors for anticipatory processing and post-event processing need to be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102273
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume74
Early online date10 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • social anxiety disorder
  • social phobia
  • threat
  • attention
  • factor analysis
  • bifactor model

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