Social anxiety and post-event processing among African-American individuals

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BACKGROUND: Social anxiety is among the most prevalent psychiatric conditions, yet little attention has been paid to whether putative cognitive vulnerability factors related to social anxiety in predominantly White samples are related to social anxiety among historically underrepresented groups. DESIGN: We tested whether one such vulnerability factor, post-event processing (PEP; detailed review of social event that can increase state social anxiety) was related to social anxiety among African-American (AA; n = 127) persons, who comprise one of the largest underrepresented racial groups in the U.S. Secondarily, we tested whether AA participants differed from non-Hispanic White participants (n = 127) on PEP and social anxiety and whether race moderated the relation between PEP and social anxiety. METHOD: Data were collected online among undergraduates. RESULTS: PEP was positively correlated with social anxiety among AA participants, even after controlling for depression and income, pr = .30, p = .001. AA and White participants did not differ on social anxiety or PEP, β = -1.57, 95% CI: -5.11, 1.96. The relation of PEP to social anxiety did not vary as a function of race, β = 0.00, 95% CI: -0.02, 0.02. CONCLUSIONS: PEP may be an important cognitive vulnerability factor related to social anxiety among AA persons suffering from social anxiety.

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Anxiety, stress, and coping

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