Generalized social phobia and avoidant personality disorder: meaningful distinction or useless duplication?

Authors

  • Dianne L. Chambless Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 3720 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6241
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  • Thomas Fydrich Ph.D.,

    1. Psychologisches Institut, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, Washington University of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
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  • Thomas L. Rodebaugh Ph.D.

    1. Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • This article is a US Government work and, as such is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Abstract

Participants with generalized social phobia (GSP) with (n=36) and without (n=19) avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) were compared via contrasts of group means and classification analysis on purported core features of AVPD. GSP-AVPD participants proved to be more severely impaired or distressed on some group contrasts. Cluster analysis identified two groups in the sample, with group membership significantly correlated to AVPD diagnosis. However, almost all significant findings were nullified when severity of social phobia was statistically controlled. Thus, at least where participants with social phobia are concerned, it seems most parsimonious to consider AVPD a severe form of GSP rather than a separate diagnostic category. Depression and Anxiety 0:1–12 2006. Published 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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