Free Research Paper About The Role Of Social Skills Training In Treating Social Anxiety Disorder (Sad)

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Psychology, Behavior, Study, Education, Sociology, Skills, Anxiety, Treatment

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/20

The field of psychology contains numerous ideas and studies on a number of social and behavioral issues. Indeed, psychological studies have helped in clarifying human and social behavior.

The research question

The topic of consideration in this discussion is how social skills training (SST) can help in alleviating Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). SAD is a chronic mental condition characterized by intense fear of being judged or scrutinized by other people. Incidentally, it results in high self-consciousness, fear, anxiety, and embarrassment based on the fear of a person being judged by others. However, medication, psychological counseling, and training in coping skills can help the patient to learn confidence and improve his ability to interact with others (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1998-2015). The primary article is a study by Herbert et al. on the effectiveness of Social Skills training in treating SAD (Herbert et al., 2005).

How this article relates to the research question

Indeed, the study by Herbert et al. relates closely to this question since it identifies social skills training in the context of the cognitive behavioral therapies. In addition, the study describes different approaches that have been used to treat the condition and compares them in a unique way. Moreover, it provides a broadened understanding of the SST as an intervention.

The hypothesis of the study

The modified form of Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy (CBGT), enriched with the SST, is a better treatment for SAD than the standard CBGT program (Herbert et al., 2005).

What did the research did

The study gathered participants through means such as newspaper advertisements, posters, and flyers posted in the coffee shops and the public libraries. Incidentally, they had requested people to participate in the treatment study. Apparently, they were conducting the study in the anxiety in a health facility located in urban health Sciences University. Eventually, they managed to have 65 participants, mostly of African-American and Caucasian origins. Notably, the participants were people who had exhibited comorbid moods and the anxiety disorders. The participants went through a 20-minute telephone screening exercise. Later, they referred the interested people to a trained diagnostician who assessed them more. To this end, the diagnosticians used the structured approaches to diagnosing the unique cases of the participants. Notably, the researchers excluded participants who had previously undergone the CBT checkups (Herbert et al. 2005).
They used seven self-report questionnaires to assess the participants both prior to and after the treatment. Additionally, they used the videotaped behavioral assessment tasks to examine the participants. The first self-report questionnaire they used was the Social Phobia Anxiety Inventory (SPAI). Moreover, they used the Fear Questionnaire (FQ) and the Brief Version of the Fear of Negative Evaluation. As well, they used the Scale (Brief FNE), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Besides, they also used the Behavioral assessment and the Subjective Units of Discomfort Scale (SUDS) (Herbert et al. 2005)
Notably, the behavioral assessment included three structured three-minute behavioral tasks in assessing the behavioral performance. Later, the researchers randomly assigned the participants twelve sessions of CBGT with or without the SST. The psycho-educational paradigm of the SST included teaching the participants three expressive domains of social skills; namely, the non-verbal behavior such as the facial expressions, proxemics, eye contact, and kinesics. The paradigm also involved speech content and the paralinguistic features of speech such as tone, voice volume, and timing (Herbert et al. 2005).

The research findings

The researcher grouped the results into four. These included the treatment integrity, the self-report measures, behavioral assessments, and the treatment responders. Chi-square test indicated 79% responders for the SST while the non-SST had 38%. Meanwhile, SST group demonstrated significant improvement in the social behavior observer ratings than the non-SST team. For the self-report measures, the complete analyses showed consistent results, which favored the SST group over the non-SST. Notably, the SST group showed consistent improved results, compared to the non-SST team, even after treatment and a three-month follow-up (Herbert et al. 2005).

Meaning of the results

These results indicated that SST has a positive impact on the treatment of SAD. Thus, the participants who received the SST protocol fared much better than those who did not. However, the favorable figures for behavioral skills in the SST group should not be taken to imply that SAD patients lack behavioral skills. Thus, by implication, therapists in SAD should include SST in their CBGT protocol for better outcomes. In addition, the skills training significantly improved the participant’s behavioral skills. As a result, the participants developed better interaction skills and lowered the avoidance and anxiety (Herbert et al. 2005).

The strengths and weaknesses of the study

One of the strengths of this study was its well-structured tests and measures. The researchers were keen on the reliability of the results. Incidentally, the participants who missed up to three assessment sessions were disqualified for the study.

The researchers used triangulation to study their subjects, which ensured that the results were reliable and objective.

However, the CBGT-only conditions were weaker than in other CBGT studies. As well, the exclusion of behavioral skills in the CBGT-only team weakened the effectiveness of the treatment. It did not examine the predictors of post-treatment improvements.

Suggestions for improving the study

In general, this study has shown important aspects of SST therapy. I would include the wait-list only condition to improve the results for the time-related effects and the statistical regression to the mean. In addition, I would develop a suitable algorithm for integrating SST in CBGT for the patients prior to the study.

References

Herbert, J. D., Gaudiano, B. A., Rheingold, A. A., Myers, V. H., Dalrymple, K., & Nolan, E. M. (2005). Social skills training augments the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy for social anxiety disorder. Behavior Therapy, 36(2), 125-138.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (1998-2015). Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) : Definition. Retrieved April 14, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/social-anxiety-disorder/basics/definition/con-20032524

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WePapers. (2021, February, 20) Free Research Paper About The Role Of Social Skills Training In Treating Social Anxiety Disorder (Sad). Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-research-paper-about-the-role-of-social-skills-training-in-treating-social-anxiety-disorder-sad/
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