Author

Jaismeen Dua

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2019

Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan

Thesis Committee Member

Ronan Bernas

Thesis Committee Member

Mariana M. Juras

Abstract

Cognitive components influencing social anxiety have been well-researched for decades, especially fear of negative evaluation (Clark & Wells, 1995; Hofmann, 2007; Rapee & Heimberg, 1997; Schlenker & Leary, 1982). Relatively recent and emerging research has suggested a strong link between fear of negative evaluation and fear of positive evaluation, and how both of them influence social anxiety (Weeks, Heimberg, & Rodebaugh, 2008; Weeks et al., 2007; Weeks & Howell, 2012; Weeks et al., 2009). This study examined social anxiety in relation to both fear of negative evaluation and fear of positive evaluation. Findings from the study replicated previous research results, highlighting links between both fears of evaluation (negative and positive) and social anxiety. The role of emotion dysregulation in psychopathology is also an emerging research topic, and researchers have studied various emotion regulation strategies to identify maladaptive usage (Kring & Werner, 2004; Hofmann et al., 2012; Aldao & Schweizer, 2009). This study also focused on how difficulties in emotion regulation moderate the relationship between fears of evaluation and social anxiety. Findings with respect to emotion dysregulation indicated that although this variable does not moderate the relationship between fears of evaluation and social anxiety among college students, it does add significant predictive value to social anxiety, above and beyond the effect of fears of evaluation. Links between emotion dysregulation and fears of evaluation also were found, suggesting the need to address both cognitive and affective components in treatment of social anxiety.

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