Type D Personality is associated with social anxiety in the general population

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Abstract

Background:
Research on the emotional processes associated with Type D personality is important for its further conceptualization. We examined the associations of Type D personality with social and general anxiety symptoms in a large community sample.Purpose:The aim of the current study was to disentangle the associations of Type D personality and its components with social anxiety and general anxiety in a large sample from the general population.
Methods:
A random sample of 2,475 adults from the general population filled out questionnaires to assess Type D personality (DS-14), social anxiety (SIAS10, SPS11, BFNE-II), and general anxiety (HADS-A, GAD-7).ResultsType D individuals were characterized by increased levels of both social and general anxiety. The social inhibition (SI) component of Type D personality was most strongly associated with social interaction anxiety (r = .63), while negative affectivity (NA) was strongly associated with general anxiety (GAD-7: r = .70; HADS-A: r = .66). Within social anxiety, SI was more strongly associated with facets of social interaction anxiety than with social phobia. Multiple regression analysis showed that the synergistic interaction of NA and SI was a predictor of social anxiety (SIAS10: β = .32, p < .0005; SPS11: β = .27, p < .0005; BFNE-II: β = .11, p = .007) independent of demographics and the scores on the individual Type D components. This interaction was not a significant predictor of general anxiety. Logistic regression using the dichotomous Type D classification demonstrated a 9.1-fold (95%CI, 7.0−11.8) increased odds of a score in the highest quartile of social interaction anxiety and a 7.6-fold (95%CI, 5.8–9.8) increased odds of high social phobia. Odds ratios for clinically relevant levels of general anxiety were 8.3 (95%CI, 5.5–12.5) for GAD-7 and 6.5 (95%CI, 3.4–12.6) for HADS-A.
Conclusion:
In the general population, Type D individuals were characterized by both social and general anxiety. The SI component of Type D is strongly associated with social interaction anxiety and the synergistic interaction of NA and SI was associated with high social anxiety, above and beyond the main NA and SI effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-505
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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