The Relation Between Mindfulness and Fear of Negative Evaluation Over the Course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder


  • This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health, R42 MH 60506-02, awarded to the final author.

Please address correspondence to: Page L. Anderson, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 5010, Atlanta, GA 30302. E-mail:



This study examined the relation between mindfulness and fear of negative evaluation over the course of nonmindfulness based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD). We expected that higher levels of mindfulness would be associated with a more positive response to treatment.


This study is a secondary report from a randomized controlled trial in which participants (N = 65) diagnosed with SAD were randomly assigned to receive 8 weeks of 1 of 2 manualized treatments (exposure group therapy, n = 33; or virtual reality exposure therapy, n = 32) either immediately or following an 8 week waiting period.


Fear of negative evaluation decreased following treatment and was negatively related to mindfulness throughout treatment and follow-up. Mindfulness did not moderate treatment outcome.


These findings indicate that while mindfulness is related to fear, it is not a moderator of symptom reduction in nonmindfulness-based treatment. Implications for treatment and future research are discussed.