Investigating the Role of Interpersonal Sensitivity, Anger, and Perfectionism in Social Anxiety

Youkhabeh Mohammadian, Behzad Mahaki, Mahmoud Dehghani, Mohammadkazem Atef Vahid, Fahimeh Fathali Lavasani


Background: The investigation of personality characteristics and emotional experiences of the people suffering from anxiety disorders is one of the most important issues which are considered by researchers and clinicians. Perfectionism, sensitivity to interpersonal rejection, and anger are
personality traits related to social anxiety. In social anxiety disorder, it has also been focused on anger as a personality characteristic and as an emotional condition. The main purpose of this work is to investigate the role of these variables in predicting social anxiety among a nonclinical group of Iranian students.

Methods: In this cross‑sectional study, 131 students completed the self‑report version of Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale Self‑Report version (LSAS‑SR), Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS), Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM), and State and Trait Anger
Expression Inventory. Multiple linear regressions were conducted to examine the concurrent associations between perfectionism, interpersonal sensitivity and quality of emotional experience, and expression of anger with severity of self‑report social anxiety.

Results: Greater levels of FMPS total were signifcantly associated with a greater level of LSAS total, fear, and avoidance of social and functional situations (P = 0.022, P = 0.024, and P = 0.006). Moreover, a signifcant
positive correlation between IPSM total (P = 0.015) with fear and also between anger expression index (P = 0.009) with avoidance subscale were found.

Conclusions: In accordance to the previous researches, we found that perfectionism, interpersonal sensitivity, anger experience, and anger
expression skills are related to social anxiety. How these personality traits are related to fear and avoidance of social situations and their concurrent effects on predicting social anxiety were discussed.

Keywords: Anger, interpersonal sensitivity, perfectionism, social anxiety

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