Specificity of Intolerance of Uncertainty on Social Anxiety

Feb 18, 09 Specificity of Intolerance of Uncertainty on Social Anxiety

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Specificity of Intolerance of Uncertainty on Social AnxietyA review of:Boelen, P. A. & Reijntjes, A. (2009). Intolerance of uncertainty and social anxiety. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 23, 130-135By Kristen Perkins In this article Boelen and Reijntjes (2009)seek to examine the link between intolerance of uncertainty (IU) with the severity of social anxiety symptoms. Previous research has indicated IU as highly significant in individuals suffering with GAD and OCD while less predictive of depression and other anxiety disorders including panic disorder. Since IU is operationally defined as finding uncertainty stressful, fearing that uncertainty reflects poorly on the individual, and blocks constructive action, it appeared reasonable that this type of intolerance of ambiguity may be reflected in social anxiety through the fear, avoidance and physical discomfort frequently observed in those suffering from this disorder. The authors described two main goals of this study. The first was to examine the potential of IU to account for the variance within symptom severity of social anxiety while controlling for multiple previously established cognitive correlates. These correlates included fear of negative evaluation, anxiety sensitivity, low self-esteem, perfectionism, and pathological worry. The authors also indicated that they controlled for neuroticism so as to evaluate the other cognitive correlates independent of this feature. The second goal was to seek to further increase the understanding of the specificity of IU to social anxiety, OCD, GAD, and depression with an expectation that IU would indeed be related to symptoms for each of the anxiety disorders while not directly related to depression symptoms. Participants (126 total, average age 47, 91% female) were provided with a consent form, informational letter and 11 self-report questionnaires measuring the constructs of intolerance of uncertainty, fear of negative evaluation, perfectionism, pathological worry, self-esteem, anxiety sensitivity, social phobia, depression, GAD, OCD, and neuroticism. To address the first goal discussed by the authors of this article, results of the statistical analysis suggest that as expected, fear of negative evaluation, anxiety sensitivity, pathological worry and low self-esteem were significantly correlated with social anxiety....

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Self Medication as a Marker of Risk of DSM Diagnosis along Axes I and II

Feb 03, 09 Self Medication as a Marker of Risk of DSM Diagnosis along Axes I and II

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Self Medication as a Marker of Risk of DSM Diagnosis along Axes I and IIA Review of:Robinson, J., Sareen, J., Cox, B. J., & Bolton, J. (2009). Self-medication of anxiety disorders with alcohol and drugs: Results from a nationally representative sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders 23 (2009) 38–45.by Major, C. T. Earlier studies that correlated anxiety and substance abuse typically treated these conditions as overarching categories, and often hypothesized that self medication for anxiety may cause the substance abuse disorder. In contrast, Robinson et al. (2009) have available the results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a longitudinal study that surveys self-medication as a behavior separate from comorbid DSM disorders including substance abuse. As a result, the authors observe that self medication may be a significant marker of risk of diagnosis of various DSM disorders. The potential clinical value of such a finding is that the data might support adding questions about self medication to instruments that detect the presence of, or rate the severity of, certain DSM disorders. The authors’ calculations of adjusted-odds ratios (AOR) for risk of disorder are striking. For example, merely by learning that a person self medicates for anxiety using both alcohol and some other drug, the odds are nearly 1 in 20 that such a person is diagnosable as also suffering from paranoid personality disorder (AOR = 4.88 (3.27–7.27) where p < .001). Such a ratio is approximately double the prevalence of that condition in the general population, thus potentially making report of self medication useful as an adjunct measure of probability of comorbidity. In the largest sense the study reveals the utility of gathering data along as many dimensions as possible (per NESARC), and that multivariate analysis of such a data set can reveal new correlations that may have practical clinical value in predicting and measuring comorbidity of disorder and severity of condition. Self medication as a variable appears to be such a marker. To cite this review, please use this reference:Major,...

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Minimum Payment Information May Actually Harm Credit Card Customers

Minimum Payment Information May Actually Harm Credit Card CustomersA Review of:Stewart, J. (2009). The Cost of anchoring on credit-card minimum payments. Psychological Science in the Public Interest (in press).by Martine Luntz In this study, Stewart (in press, 2009) tackles the widespread problem of credit card debt. Previous research indicates that the minimum payment information provided by credit card companies, and required by law in both the United States and the United Kingdom, actually has a deleterious effect on the tendency of borrowers to keep up with payments. Stewart contends that although minimum payments are designed to protect consumers from the effect of compounding interest, they actually act as “psychological anchors”. In other words, when people are assigned a minimum amount, they generally pay less than they would have if no amount had been listed. A lower payment results in greater interest payments as the debt accrues. If this is the case, the laws that are supposed to protect consumers are unintentionally providing a greater barrier to avoiding credit card debt. Stewart distributed a survey to confirm his hypothesis that credit card payments are correlated with minimum payments. Two hundred and forty-eight United Kingdom credit card holders responded with information on their credit card payments and the minimums required. The data confirmed that there was a significant positive correlation between minimum payment and actual repayment. In other words, the higher the minimum payment, the greater the amount paid. The results accounted for only partial repayments; minimum only repayments and full repayments were not affected by the minimum payment information. To further investigate the relationship between minimum payment information and actually repayment, Stewart designed a hypothetical bill-payment experiment. The independent variable was the presence of minimum payment information and the dependent variable was the amount the participant would hypothetically choose to pay. The participants were a mixture of campus visitors, web page visitors, and participants recruited by a market research company.The results show that whilst full repayments were not significantly affected by the inclusion of minimum...

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