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Keywords:

  • social phobia;
  • social anxiety;
  • taxometrics;
  • nosology

Abstract

The latent structure of social phobia was examined in a sample of 2,035 outpatients with anxiety and mood disorders to determine whether the disorder operates in a categorical or dimensional fashion. We performed three mathematically distinct taxometric procedures—MAMBAC, MAXEIG, and L-Mode—using five indicators constructed from clinical interview ratings and questionnaire measures of social anxiety symptoms. Results from screening analyses and simulated comparison data consistently indicated that the data were suitable for taxometric analysis. The collective results across procedures, consistency tests, and analysis of simulated comparison data produced converging evidence in support of the conclusion that the latent structure of social phobia is dimensional. Depression and Anxiety 23:190–199, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.