Prevalence and Functional Consequences of Social Anxiety in Individuals at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis: Perspective from a Community Sample Comparison

Franchesca S. Kuhney*, Katherine S.F. Damme, Andrea Pelletier-Baldelli, Charlotte Chun, Lauren M. Ellman, Jason Schiffman, Vijay A. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) commonly occurs among individuals at clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis. Extant research has yet to examine the prevalence and clinical/functional correlates of SAD in this population compared to a community control (CC) sample. This comparison may improve the generalizability that traditional nonpsychiatric control samples cannot provide. Additionally, it remains unknown how SAD contributes to symptom severity and social impairments in individuals at CHR for psychosis. Methods: Both CHR and CC groups were recruited from general community sources; CC participants were not excluded in this analysis on the basis of any psychopathology except psychosis. A total of 245 adolescents and young adults (CHR = 81; CC = 164) were administered the Social Phobia Scale, the Structured Interview for Psychosis-risk Syndromes, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Research Version, and the Social Functioning Scale. Results: The CHR group was at increased risk for having SAD relative to CC (42% CHR; 13% CC; RR = 3.28) and, to a lesser degree, a non-SAD anxiety disorder (41% CHR; 29% CC; RR = 1.42). Greater social anxiety was related to higher levels of negative (r = 0.29) but not positive (r = 0.05) symptoms within the CHR group. Furthermore, elevated social anxiety was found to be linked with poor social functioning in the CHR group (r =-0.31). Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the specificity of SAD over and above other anxiety disorders in individuals at CHR for psychosis and the critical target of SAD to treat subclinical psychotic symptoms and social functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbersgab025
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin Open
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Keywords

  • prodrome
  • psychosis-risk
  • social anxiety
  • social functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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