Social anxiety disorder (SAD) could be a serious detriment to college students. This study examined the effects of three hours of group public speaking activities (i.e., the treatment) and three hours of group geometric sketching activities (i.e., the placebo) with homework for the treatment of SAD in college students. The homework component of the study required all participants to practice the behavior learned in session on a daily basis to help maintain treatment (or placebo) gains. A convenience sample of 57 Wayne State University students with SAD and a specific fear of public speaking participated in the study. The average age of participants was 28 years. All participants had SAD as determined by the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Social Phobia Inventory, and a fear of public speaking as measured by the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension-24 at pretest. The participants completed these measures again at posttest and one month follow-up. As a quantitative study, the pretest-posttest two-group design and t-tests were used to investigate the effectiveness of the study's treatment. Analysis of within condition results revealed that the experimental group (n = 32) had a significant decrease in total level of social anxiety and public speaking anxiety at posttest, t (31) = 10.60, p = .001, d = 1.87. Overall treatment gains were also maintained at one month follow-up within the experimental condition, t (22) = −0.78, p = .478, d = −0.16. There were substantial differences in pretest scores between groups. Thus, the comparison results between groups at posttest were flawed. In addition, the placebo control group (n = 25) had high attrition rate at one month follow-up, possibly suggesting that the placebo used was not credible. Therefore, the comparison results between groups at one month follow-up were invalid. The findings of this study have important implications for future research and practice because the within condition results for the experimental group suggested a promising treatment. However, more carefully designed randomized, placebo-controlled studies are needed to allow for better comparison between groups. More research is also needed to expand the generality of the findings of this study.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Public speaking, Social anxiety|
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