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Title: An exploration of how individuals affected by social anxiety experience relationships with others
Author: Mcsorley, Ronan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 9158
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2017
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Social anxiety causes disruption to relational functioning leading some researchers to describe it as an interpersonal problem (Alden & Taylor, 2004, 2010). However, research exploring interpersonal aspects of social anxiety is strikingly limited. Furthermore the research that has been conducted is predominantly informed by a positivist and quantitative framework. The way in which socially anxious individuals ‘experience’ interpersonal relationships with others is therefore poorly understood. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by adopting a phenomenological approach. The aim of this research is to uncover the understandings, explanations and perceptions socially anxious individuals have of interpersonal relationships. Six socially anxious individuals were recruited from UK based social anxiety support groups and interviewed about important relationships in their lives. The data generated was subjected to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis leading to four superordinate themes: ‘The Desire for Intimacy’, ‘Interpersonal Barriers’, ‘Interpersonal Adaptations’ and ‘Intimacy’. These superordinate themes, along with their corresponding subordinate themes, capture the rich phenomenological world of the participants and provide insight into the way socially anxious individuals experience interpersonal relationships with others. These findings are discussed in the context of the existing literature. Implications for clinical practice and further research are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral