Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Post-event processing (PEP) is theorized to maintain pathological social anxiety. However, little is known about the impact of interventions that may interfere with this maintenance factor. The current study examined the impact of mindfulness training on PEP and state anxiety among socially anxious individuals. Participants were 81 persons (74.07% female, 61.72% non-Hispanic White, Mage = 21.83) with clinically elevated social anxiety who attended one appointment in the laboratory during which they were randomized to receive a brief mindfulness-based training (n = 41) or no training (i.e., thinking as usual control group; n = 40). After the training period, participants underwent a 3-minute social anxiety induction task. They were instructed to apply their thinking strategy (i.e., mindfulness or thinking as usual) following the induction task and to complete questionnaires regarding their PEP and state anxiety. Next, participants were asked to complete two weeks of daily online surveys that included a PEP induction task, instructions to use their thinking strategy following the PEP induction, and measures of state PEP and state anxiety. Individuals in the mindfulness condition reported significantly less state anxiety post-training compared to the control condition. However, conditions did not differ on state anxiety or state PEP after the social anxiety induction task or during the two-week follow-up period. Time spent practicing the strategy did not moderate these relationships. Importantly, the mindfulness condition was associated with decreased state PEP over the two-week follow-up period between days 1-5 to 10-14 compared to the control condition, but not for state anxiety. In sum, mindfulness-based strategies reduced state anxiety after training and state PEP (but not state anxiety) during strategy use over a two-week period among individuals with clinically elevated social anxiety.

Committee Chair

Buckner, Julia

Available for download on Thursday, March 16, 2023

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