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Allowing or fighting social anxiety: The role of psychological inflexibility in a non-clinical population
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Person-Oriented Research, Vol. 1, no 3, 151-161 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In an acceptance-based model of what maintains social anxiety, the focus is on counterproductive attempts to control unpleasant internal experiences through avoidance of them. An example of such an avoidance strategy, especially prominent among socially anxious women, is rumination. According to this model, the road to recovery for people suffering from social anxiety is through increased acceptance of internal experiences. This process is also referred to as decreasing an individual’s ‘psychological inflexibility’. The overall aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between psychological inflexibility and social anxiety in a non-clinical population. We used cluster analysis to examine subgroups with different individual profiles of symptoms of social anxiety/avoidance and psychological inflexibility. The clusters were examined in relation to depressive symptoms, rumination, and the moderating effect of gender. The design was cross-sectional and consisted of 219 university students (101 men, 118 women; M age = 23 years). Four clusters were generated, whereof two (the Multidimensional Problem cluster and the No Problem cluster) reflected a strong positive relationship between social anxiety/avoidance and psychological inflexibility, however in different ways. Gender did not act as a mod-erator. However, people in the Multidimensional Problem cluster reported higher degree of depressive symptoms as well as higher levels of rumination compared to the other clusters. To conclude, psychological inflexibility seems to be related not only to symptoms of ill-health such as social anxiety and depressive symptoms but also to control strategies such as rumination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Scandinavian Society for Person-Oriented Research (SPOR) , 2015. Vol. 1, no 3, 151-161 p.
Keyword [en]
social anxiety, psychological inflexibility, depressive symptoms, rumination, non-clinical population
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121263DOI: 10.17505/jpor.2015.16OAI: diva2:857607
Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Jansson Fröjmark, Markus
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Department of Psychology

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