Specific and Non-Specific Factors in the Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy of College Students with Social Anxiety Disorder : A Randomized Clinical Trial.
In this randomized clinical trial, cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT) was compared to a credible, structurally-equivalent control condition in a sample of college students meeting DSM-IV criteria for social anxiety disorder (SAD) as a primary diagnosis. The control condition only incorporated the non-specific factors of group treatment (NSGT), such as group cohesion, with specific techniques like cognitive restructuring proscribed. This project aimed to explore how specific and non-specific factors interact over the course of treatment. It was hypothesized that two non-specific factors (therapeutic alliance and group cohesion) would interact with condition as follows: Therapeutic alliance (TA) would only be positively correlated with improvement in the CBGT condition, but group cohesion (GC) would only be positively correlated with improvement in the NSGT condition. The rationale is that the specific techniques of CBGT depend on the TA between the group therapist and each participant while NSGT capitalizes on group dynamics. Each treatment condition comprised 8 group sessions (lasting 2 hours each). Participants were 45 college students at the University of Colorado, ranging from 18-25 years of age. Attrition differed across conditions; there were five non-completers in the CBGT condition (21.7%) and only one in the NSGT condition (4.3%). Independent raters, blind to treatment condition, assessed the participants. There were no statistically significant differences post-treatment (controlling for pre-treatment scores) between the two treatment conditions, and both treatments were found to be highly effective. Effect sizes for CBGT were similar to earlier studies, and adherence ratings revealed excellent adherence. There was no interaction between TA and treatment condition as they relate to improvement. GC, however, was found to interact with condition, so that it was positively associated with improvement in NSGT but negatively associated with improvement in CBGT. Discussion of these findings included future directions with this treatment modality, especially whether these two types of group treatments could be combined and whether such combination might result in less attrition, greater effectiveness, and easier dissemination of group therapy with college students.
- Paperback | 82 pages
- 203 x 254 x 5mm | 181g
- 04 Sep 2011
- Proquest, Umi Dissertation Publishing
- Charleston SC, United States
- colour illustrations