The effect of Avoidant Personality Disorder on the persistence of Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder in the general population: results from a longitudinal, nationally representative mental health survey

Authors

  • Brian J. Cox Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    3. Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    • PZ-430 PsycHealth Centre, 771 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 3N4.Dr. Stein received several grants from the National Institute of Mental Health
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  • Danielle L. Turnbull B.A. (Hons),

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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  • Jennifer A. Robinson M.A.,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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  • Bridget F. Grant Ph.D.,

    1. Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Murray B. Stein M.D. M.P.H.

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California
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Abstract

Background: The primary objective of this study was to prospectively examine the role of Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD) as a determinant in the outcome of Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (GSAD) using Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions 3 years later. Method: This study analyzed data from Waves 1 and 2 of the NESARC (n = 34,653). GSAD was operationalized based on the DSM-IV definitions of this SAD subtype. Results: Logistic regression analyses indicated that AvPD significantly predicted the persistence of GSAD, even after adjusting for a number of important sociodemographic variables and other psychiatric comorbidity. AvPD did not significantly predict outcome in non-generalized SAD. Conclusions: AvPD can influence the course of GSAD in adulthood. Specific personality dimensions may underlie and explain the similarities between AvPD and GSAD. Self-criticism could be a shared feature of both AvPD and GSAD and could represent an important psychological marker of poor prognosis in comorbid GSAD and AvPD. Depression and Anxiety 28:250–255, 2011.  © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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