Date of this Version
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 34:4 (2005), pp. 201–206.
Given that social anxiety disorder is a common, chronic, debilitating disorder and socially anxious women appear to have different experiences related to social development and social support than men, it is essential that the gender differences in social anxiety and social support be understood. The present study examined perceived social support quantity and satisfaction in 23 women and 28 men seeking treatment for social anxiety disorder. Contrary to expectations, men and women did not differ on measures of social support. However, younger, unmarried women reported having smaller social support networks and less satisfaction with their social support networks than older, married women. Analyses of socially anxious men did not reveal such a pattern. The current study provides preliminary evidence that younger, single women have social support networks that are less satisfying than the social support networks of older, married women. Inclusion of social support modules within a cognitive behavioral treatment approach for social anxiety disorder may be warranted, particularly for young, unmarried women.