Development and validation of the Core Beliefs Questionnaire in a sample of individuals with social anxiety disorder

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Abstract

Background Prominent cognitive models of social anxiety have consistently emphasised the importance of beliefs about the self in the aetiology and maintenance of social anxiety. The present study sought to develop and validate a new measure of core beliefs about the self for SAD, the Core Beliefs Questionnaire (CBQ). Methods Three versions of the CBQ were developed: a Trait version (fundamental absolute statements about the self), a Contingent version (statements about the self related to a specific social-evaluative situation), and an Other version (statements about how others view the self in social-evaluative situations generally). The psychometric features of the scales were examined in clinical (n=269) and non-clinical (n=67) samples. Results Exploratory factor analysis yielded a one factor model for all three versions of the questionnaire. Total scores differentiated individuals with SAD from individuals without a psychiatric condition, and demonstrated excellent internal consistency. The three CBQ versions had positive associations with social anxiety while controlling for depression, although zero-order correlations indicated the Trait version was more strongly related to depression than social anxiety, the Contingent version was similarly related to depression and social anxiety, and the Other version was more strongly related to social anxiety than depression. Scores on all three versions of the CBQ reduced from pre- to post-treatment and this change predicted treatment outcome. Limitations This is the first validation study of the CBQ. Conclusions This study provides initial support for the reliability and validity of the CBQ.

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Wong, Q. J. J., Gregory, B., Gaston, J. E., Rapee, R. M., Wilson, J. K., & Abbott, M. J. (2017). Development and validation of the Core Beliefs Questionnaire in a sample of individuals with social anxiety disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 207, 121–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.09.020

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