5-year follow-up of adolescents with social anxiety disorder: Current functioning during COVID-19

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The present study followed-up adolescents with social anxiety disorder (SAD) during the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 5-years following their participation in an Attention Bias Modification Training (ABMT) program (Ollendick et al., 2019). The current study aimed to evaluate current functioning and quality of life (QoL) during the emerging adulthood period. Participants included 27 young adults who completed a randomized controlled trial of ABMT and were available for follow-up. Participants filled out self-report measures of QoL and functioning and underwent a clinical interview to assess current severity of social anxiety. Clinician-rated symptoms of SAD significantly decreased from post-treatment to 5-year follow-up. Additionally, results demonstrated that social anxiety severity was significantly related to poorer self-reported physical and psychological health as well as poorer functioning with regard to social distancing fears during COVID-19. Lastly, when evaluating change in symptoms over time, increases in social anxiety severity over a 5-year period significantly predicted worsened social distancing fears during COVID-19.



Social anxiety disorder, COVID-19, Follow-up, Functioning, Quality of life