Development of an interview for anxiety-relevant interpersonal styles: Preliminary support for convergent and discriminant validity


This report presents preliminary psychometric support for a new approach to assess anxiety-relevant interpersonal styles in close relationships, the Social Anxiety Relationship Interview (SARI). The SARI is a semistructured interview, designed to evaluate relevant interpersonal styles (e.g., lack of assertion, conflict avoidance, and fear of expressing strong emotions). In this report, the convergent and discriminant validity of the SARI are examined. Results indicate that the SARI demonstrated good convergent validity, with correlations ranging from .2 to .5 between the subscales and related constructs such as assertiveness, affective control, assertion of autonomy, lack of social self-confidence, and avoidant problem solving. Examining the relationship between the SARI subscales and four conceptually unrelated constructs (somatization, hostility, paranoia, and psychoticism) indicated few significant associations, controlling for social anxiety. Additionally, most aspects of interpersonal functioning assessed by the SARI appeared specific to social anxiety, on the basis of analyses that controlled for trait anxiety. Finally, SARI responses do not appear to be influenced by social desirability. These data provide promising support for this measure, which will encourage greater exploration of the role of interpersonal factors in social anxiety.

Publication Title

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment