Subjective and Physiological Responses to Acute Stress in Socially Anxious Adults and Healthy Children

Title: Subjective and Physiological Responses to Acute Stress in Socially Anxious Adults and Healthy Children
Authors: Faucher, Jacinthe
Date: 2016
Abstract: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common anxiety disorders and understanding its symptoms and risk factors is vital for developing treatments and prevention strategies. Atypical physiological responses have been observed in anxious individuals and their consequences present a human and economic burden. This dissertation includes two studies that explore the subjective and physiological responses to an acute stress in the context of treatment and risk factors for SAD. The goal of the first study was to examine whether cognitive behavioural group therapy (CBGT) and a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program differentially influenced the subjective and physiological response to a speech task. Participants in the treatment groups performed two speech tasks, before and after treatment, while a healthy control group completed it only once. Results indicated significant differences for the subjective, but not the physiological measures of stress. Patients with SAD reported higher subjective anxiety than the healthy control group and these scores were significantly reduced following treatment. Greater improvements were noted in the CBGT group; nonetheless, the study did indicate promising results for MBSR. The second study aimed to explore the effects of behavioural inhibition (BI), parental bonding variables and their interaction on the subjective and physiological responses to a similar speech task in healthy children. BI was related to subjective anxiety in a predictive manner, but was generally unrelated to the physiological measures. Parental bonding variables were not related to any of the stress responses and no interaction between BI and parental bonding was observed. These studies contribute to the literature by demonstrating treatment differences and their subjective and physiological consequences on stress reactions and exploring the extent to which risk factors for SAD affect the stress response in healthy children.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -