The effect of rumination and reappraisal on social anxiety symptoms during cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder

  • Brozovich F
  • Goldin P
  • Lee I
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: There is growing interest in the role of transdiagnostic processes in the onset, maintenance, and treatment of mental disorders (Nolen-Hoeksema & Watkins, 2011). Two such transdiagnostic processes-rumination and reappraisal-are the focus of the present study. The main objective was to examine the roles of rumination (thought to be harmful) and reappraisal (thought to be helpful) in adults with social anxiety disorder (SAD).

METHOD: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with 75 adults with SAD and examined pre- to post-CBT changes as well as weekly fluctuations in rumination, reappraisal, and social anxiety symptoms.

RESULTS: Socially anxious individuals' baseline rumination (brooding) scores predicted weekly levels of social anxiety, rumination, and reappraisal, whereas baseline reappraisal scores did not. Greater weekly rumination was associated with greater weekly social anxiety, but reappraisal was not related to social anxiety.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that rumination may have a more significant role than reappraisal in understanding fluctuations in social anxiety during CBT for SAD.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Brooding
  • CBT
  • Cognitive reappraisal
  • Emotion regulation
  • Rumination
  • Social anxiety

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  • Faith A. Brozovich

  • Philippe Goldin

  • Ihno Lee

  • Hooria Jazaieri

  • Richard G. Heimberg

  • James J. Gross

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