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Significance of anger suppression and preoccupied attachment in social anxiety disorder: a cross-sectional study

Authors
  • Conrad, Rupert1
  • Forstner, Andreas J.2, 3
  • Chung, Man-Long1
  • Mücke, Martin1
  • Geiser, Franziska1
  • Schumacher, Johannes2
  • Carnehl, Friederike1
  • 1 University Hospital Bonn, Venusberg Campus 1, Bonn, 53127, Germany , Bonn (Germany)
  • 2 University of Marburg, Baldingerstraße, Marburg, 35033, Germany , Marburg (Germany)
  • 3 Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn, Venusberg Campus 1, Bonn, 53127, Germany , Bonn (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
BMC Psychiatry
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 22, 2021
Volume
21
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-021-03098-1
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundThere is evidence for the relevance of attachment style and anger expression for the manifestation of social anxiety disorder (SAD).MethodIn a cross-sectional study 321 individuals with social anxiety disorder (41% men, age 38.8 ± 13.9) were compared with 94 healthy controls (37% men, age 35.8 ± 15.1) on several questionnaires (Attachment Styles Questionnaire, State Trait Anger Inventory, Social Phobia Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory).ResultsIndividuals with SAD showed moderate-sized reduced levels of secure and large-sized increased levels of fearful and preoccupied attachment style compared to healthy controls (all p < 0.001) as well as small-sized increased levels of trait anger (p = 0.03) and moderate-sized increased levels of anger-in (p < 0.001). Attachment style and anger regulation could predict 21% (R2 = 0.21, p < 0.001) of the extent of social anxiety (SPIN) in SAD; secure (β = − 0.196, p < 0.01) and preoccupied attachment style (β = 0.117, p < 0.05), as well as anger-in (β = 0.199, p < 0.01) were significant cross-sectional predictors. Further analysis revealed that the relationship between preoccupied attachment and social anxiety is partially mediated by anger-in.ConclusionStudy findings confirm the relevance of preoccupied attachment style and anger suppression for social anxiety. Disentangling the role of anger regulation in early attachment patterns has significant therapeutic implications in SAD.

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