Do interpersonal features of social anxiety influence the development of depressive symptoms?


This study is a prospective examination of possible interpersonal features of social anxiety that might predict increases in depressive symptoms. It was hypothesised that social anxiety would be associated with avoidance of expressing emotion, lack of assertion, and interpersonal dependency and that these dysfunctional interpersonal styles would predict depressive symptoms one year later while controlling for Time 1 depressive symptoms. One hundred and two undergraduates completed interview and self-report measures of these interpersonal styles in addition to measures of social anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results indicated that social anxiety was associated with all three interpersonal styles. However, only avoidance of expressing emotions predicted Time 2 depressive symptoms. Theoretical implications of these results are discussed.

Publication Title

Cognition and Emotion