Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Laura J. Dixon

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Anxiety contributes to dermatological conditions and, due to the visible nature of skin conditions, social anxiety is particularly salient to dermatology patients. Although many dermatology outpatients report clinically significant social anxiety symptoms, there is little understanding of social anxiety among dermatology patients. Anxiety sensitivity (AS), or the fear of the consequences of anxiety, has been implicated in both social anxiety and dermatological symptoms. To this end, this study aimed to further elucidate the relation of social anxiety and AS among skin disease in two separate samples of individuals with psychodermatological conditions. We hypothesized that AS social, but not physical or cognitive, concerns would emerge as a unique predictor of social anxiety symptoms after accounting for covariates. Study 1 consisted of 164 participants (Mage = 31.88; 69.5% female; 83.5% White) with active skin conditions who were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Study 2 included 63 patients (Mage = 51.49; 70.7% female; 65% White) who were recruited from an outpatient dermatology clinic. In both samples, AS social concerns emerged as a unique factor contributing to social anxiety. The findings suggest heightened concerns about the negative consequences related to their visible skin condition may worsen social anxiety symptoms. Future research should examine the efficacy of brief AS interventions that target fears of social consequences in individuals with psychodermatological disorders.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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